Revolutionising libraries: co-creation and co-innovation through living labs

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.

Key Findings

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:

  1. Understanding the role of public libraries in creating public value.
  2. Identifying changes and enhancements in skills for library professionals and users.
  3. Examining the nature of innovation processes and their participatory elements.
  4. Investigating the extent to which public libraries are orienting towards co-creating value with their users.

Read the full Deliverable here.