Our latest deliverable ‘Deliverable 3.7 Living labs for co-creation and co-innovation v1.0’, delves into the transformative role of public libraries as living labs. In specific, the LibrarIN team explores the experimental realms libraries are creating for co-creation and co-innovation.
The report focuses on how public libraries apply and interpret innovation and participatory methods, analysing their impact on co-creation and co-innovation of library and community services. At the same time, it also sets the stage for developing criteria for future case studies within the project.
Drawing from a systematic literature review of scientific articles, the deliverable follows the PRISMA model’s logic in literature selection and screening, providing a structured approach to understanding the evolving role of libraries.
The LibrarIN team uncovers several insightful findings:
- The term “living lab” is sparingly used, but libraries are frequently seen as innovative settings for developing diverse services. The concept of living labs emerges as a latent theme.
- Discussions in literature often focus on the library’s purpose, boundaries, legitimacy, and types, hinting at implicit considerations of libraries’ “public value”.
- Libraries are undergoing a conceptual shift, enabling them to provide interconnected services: ‘space-place services,’ ‘processional learning services,’ and ‘democratic engagement services.
- The transition of libraries from traditional roles to dynamic, collaborative environments suggests a shift in librarians’ roles and skill sets.
The deliverable suggests a deeper exploration of four key areas through case studies:
- Understanding the role of public libraries in creating public value.
- Identifying changes and enhancements in skills for library professionals and users.
- Examining the nature of innovation processes and their participatory elements.
- Investigating the extent to which public libraries are orienting towards co-creating value with their users.