LibraryOn connects libraries and people.
Our goal is to increase the number of people who use libraries, both in person and online.

We celebrate what libraries do and what people love about them. And we help more people understand what their library offers – from reading for pleasure and purpose to social activities that unite communities, combat loneliness and increase wellbeing.

LibraryOn is a not-for-profit initiative and we put libraries and library ethics at our heart. Funded by Arts Council England, LibraryOn is also managing a £1.1m local grant programme. Co-designed with library services, the grants will help libraries improve their own online presence.

While LibraryOn is in development, we will provide information here about its progress.

Two images, the first showing a man studying in the library and the second showing a woman reading in the library
A picture of a woman smiling while reading in a library

Why are we building

Libraries have always been cornerstones of local communities in the UK, but today what they offer is not widely understood. Many people don’t know they can get books, audiobooks and e-books for free, and that there are a range of activities and events available to them.

LibraryOn will work with library staff to share the great work they do and highlight what libraries have to offer.

A grid of images showing people using the library in different ways.
A array of images showing people using the library in different ways.

If you’re part of the library sector, there are a few ways you can be part of the process of creating LibraryOn.

Test it outPut yourself forward as a LibraryOn beta tester

This usually involves us showing you something and asking you your thoughts about it. We can conduct most testing sessions remotely.

Help us make itGet involved with co-designing the grants programme

We have £1.1m worth of grants to deliver to library services in England and we want to make sure this is done with the needs of the sector at its core.

Share your ideasTake part in a drop-in session

We are running regular online sessions for the library sector so you can see what we’re doing, ask questions and share your views.

Stay in touch

The best way to stay informed about these opportunities is to sign up for our regular newsletter. If you’d like to receive it, email us at to be added to the mailing list.

Who is building

This project has been led by the British Library, working in consultation with Arts Council England as well as libraries and library bodies across the UK. To create LibraryOn we have developed a new in-house multidisciplinary team with digital expertise.

We are building the platform in an iterative way. That means we define small pieces of work to deliver and test with existing and lapsed library users, non-users and people working in the library sector. Then we refine our work based on feedback.

The wider programme contributes towards broader digital transformation through local and national approaches.

You can find out more about the history of the project by reading our blog posts on the British Library website.