CILIP Digital Leadership for Libraries project

Background to the project

CILIP is the library and information association for the UK and works to support and empower information, knowledge management and library professions.

In 2022, they were funded by the Arts Council to develop eLearning modules to promote digital leadership skills in public libraries and build on the existing Digital Skills learning content available.

The aim of the project was to “consolidate the ‘digital pivot’ made during COVID-19 into a ‘future-ready workforce’ with the digital skills needed to engage with an increasingly online (and mobile) audience“. 

Our approach

We wanted to build on our experience in delivering engaging learning experiences for library and other cultural heritage audiences to create something that truly excited public library staff about the ‘art of the possible’ of digital technologies. It was important that the content reached both skilled leaders as well as those new to the sector. 

We conducted user and background research, including interviews with library staff from across the sector to help us build personas of different types of digital leadership. 

We then worked with CILIP to design and prototype the 5 eLearning modules to support digital leadership skills for public library staff in the UK. 

These covered the topics of: 

  • Digital Leadership
  • Digital Creativity
  • Data Stewardship
  • Measuring Digital Impact
  • Digital Marketing

We worked with the project team and stakeholders to storyboard a series of eLearning modules that provided opportunities for learners to explore these topics, build on their knowledge and apply strategies in their own organisations. 

The modules were developed to be interactive, reflective and provide opportunities for learners to work through examples and applications of different digital leadership scenarios. 

But it was also important to make the learning compact, practical and accessible for staff of different experience and confidence levels. 

Case studies and collaborative learning

We used real world examples from across the library sector to help library staff learn from the experiences of others in the sector, both from their successes and from times when things didn’t go as planned. This included case studies and interviews with practitioners from different digital projects in libraries across the UK and internationally. 

We are hugely grateful to our case study subjects for generously sharing their knowledge and experiences. 

The beta versions of the modules were road tested with users from the project management team, representing users and stakeholders from across the sector. 

It  was also important to signpost resources and materials for further learning throughout the modules to help learners continue building on their knowledge and applying it to their own work. 

Open learning resources

The resources were developed under an open licence and have now been made freely available to library staff in the UK via the CILIP’s learning platform. 

You can find out more and access the resources via the CILIP website.