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22nd November 2017 Jacqueline Haxton

Library @ the Lightbox

By: Lesley Stables


Due to open in Autumn 2018, the new central library in Barnsley — Library @ the Lightbox — will become the cornerstone of the town centre with its striking design and transparent glass exterior. Lesley Stables, Library and Information Manager, explains how Creative United’s Prosper programme is providing valuable business support in the run up to the opening of the new library.

We have a brand new Central Library in Barnsley and we want it to reflect how Barnsley is changing and we needed help. That help has come in the form of Prosper, supporting the business of culture. Now if only we could have a strapline as clear as that.

We were eligible to apply for free business support offered through the Prosper programme. We applied and completed the diagnostic report. Even applying and looking at the diagnostic report highlighted our challenges.

Not only did we take the time out to apply but we were successful. Time well spent. Creative United would help us.

We were given Ellen O'Hara, our very own Prosper business advisor. Ellen scheduled a conference call with us before visiting us a few weeks later for an initial workshop. She also sent us a list of Prosper of workshops and webinars to look at and discuss.

From speaking to Ellen on the conference call to our initial workshop she provided support and answered all our questions about how to book workshops, how the credit system worked and agreed an agenda for our initial workshop. Blimey we were needy.

Staff took part in a webinar called 'Social Impact and Investment', which provided links to measuring impact and looking for investment. All new to us and an eye opener.

We did some work before the initial workshop with our team using a 'Mission Mapping' technique which enabled us to focus on our values. We came up with a few ideas but during the workshop Ellen coaxed from us a mission statement from our values.

The initial workshop synthesised our collective jumble of thoughts, values and ideas into a structure that by the end of the workshop we felt we had moved a mountain. Our purpose and aspiration was decided.

We are now looking at how we do this. First step was producing the communication plan for the new library. Once produced this was circulated to the communications and marketing team to sit alongside work delivered by the library team. Given our new library is called Library @ the Lightbox the light was well and truly switched on.

Creative United’s Prosper is a business support programme designed specifically for arts organisations, museums and libraries. Masterclasses, workshops and webinars covering a range of topics are being held across the country and are open to all — find out more and book your place.

Image courtesy of Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council © IBIGroup [2014].  Concept image of the new Library @ the Lightbox in Barnsley.

| Published:2017

Smart tags: Prosper social impact business planning