Single Digital Presence for public libraries

Woman in black top sits on the floor using a laptop, surrounded by books

The Single Digital Presence project will develop a digital platform to improve public access to the collections, exhibitions and online events of libraries across the UK.

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The platform, which will be developed by the British Library, will allow libraries to share content and resources with audiences around the world, promote two-way traffic with local library websites, and give national visibility to local events and collections.  

This project is part of Arts Council England’s vision for public libraries and the British Library’s Everyone Engaged Portfolio, which aims to make our intellectual heritage available to everyone, regardless of their background or location.

Background and timelines

The first phase of the Single Digital Presence project took place from 2018–2020. This involved extensive research into similar models around the world, and consultation with libraries and members of the public to explore how a digital platform might work and the resources needed. 

The current phase of funding (June 2021 – March 2024) will enable us to develop and test a public-facing version of the platform. £1.1 million of the funding is ring-fenced to help libraries in England with their digital offers.

Platform services and content are expected to include:

  • Connecting users to their local library and its services.
  • Celebrating what libraries are doing around the country. 
  • Sharing events and information from the British Library (including the Living Knowledge Network and Business & IP Centres). 
  • Searchable national, local and online event listings.
  • A national newsletter. 
  • Reading recommendations and ideas from the library community.
  • National activities relevant to public libraries.


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