PressPlay logo

On Friday 1 March 2024 LibraryOn hosted an interactive celebration of all things digital.

Catch up with recorded sessions
An audience sitting at a conference. The people are smiling and laughing.


Co-curated with the library sector, Press Play showcased how digital technology can drive innovation, engage customers, make efficiencies and create user-friendly, inclusive library services.

The programme reflected the digital aspirations of library services across the country. Informal in nature, sessions were held in a range of formats, from workshops and round tables to ignite talks and interactive sessions, 'ask the expert' surgeries and more.

We also spotlit some of the brilliant projects developed by LibraryOn grant recipients, who shared their journey of delivering projects along with some top tips and insights from their work.

The main space was live streamed and we recorded sessions where speakers joined virtually.

β€œThis was a new experience for me and I really enjoyed it. It is clear that we are all facing the same challenges across the sector. Seeing what people are doing to overcome them and learn from their experience is always very valuable. As well as reinforce that we are already on the right path. The food and the atmosphere that LibraryOn created were great too.”Press Play conference attendee

Catch up

Take a look at the programme from the day:

Full programme (PDF)

Timetable of the day

The programme consisted of keynote talks and themed sessions around engagement, data and inclusion.

β€œConcise, considered and I loved the focus.”

Engagement theme sessions

  • Setting up a studio in your library: Photography, video, lighting and podcasting – Ryan Johnson, BIPC Oxfordshire
  • Future-proofing libraries – Maaike Verberk, DEN, Netherlands
  • Journey of a library Instagram – Izzy Ashley, Library Outreach Assistant, and Lorna Hulme, Development Officer, Halton Libraries
  • TikTok: Leveraging video content for advocacy, outreach and book promotion – Kelsey Bogan, High School Librarian & Adjunct Professor at Great Valley High School
  • Artificial intelligence: Let’s embrace playfulness – Jocelyn Burnham, AI trainer for the culture sector
  • Digital Powerwash: Ethics around the use of Big Tech for socials – Jantien Borsboom, Director of Public Spaces, Netherlands

Data theme sessions

  • Data storytelling live – Dave Rowe, Founder of Libraries Hacked
  • Transforming the customer experience using open data – Georgina Carr, Marketing Programme Manager, GLL
  • Using data to understand online audiences – Chris Unitt, Founder of One Further
  • Panel discussion: Why do we need open data? – chaired by Luke Burton, Director, Libraries at Arts Council England, with Sander van Kempen, Senior Advisor for National Library of the Netherlands, and Aude Charillon, PTFS Europe

Inclusion theme sessions

  • Inclusion potential of digital spaces – Dr Tola Dabiri, Cultural Sector Lead at National Academy for Social Prescribing
  • Libraries digital inclusion meetup – LIVE! – Good Things Foundation and Cambridgeshire Libraries
  • Envoy Connect project: Audiobooks for blind and partially sighted users – Abul Kashim, Programme Manager for Camden Libraries, and Lara Marshall, Libraries Engagement Manager from RNIB
  • Virtual tours and room hire: Online solutions to drive inclusive and sustainable footfall in libraries
  • Digital inclusion in libraries – Dr Amy Kavanagh

Big picture sessions

  • Information in the digital age – Lucy Crompton-Reid, CEO of Wikimedia UK
  • In conversation: Role of libraries in the digital age – Tony Ageh OBE, former Chief Digital Officer of New York Public Library and Sir Roly Keating, CEO of the British Library
  • Panel discussion: Widening access to collections through digital – Chaired by Katherine Blamire, Head of the British Library’s Living Knowledge Network, with Alison Stevenson, Vice-Chair of Library and Information Council and Interim Associate Director for Collections and Research at the National Library of Scotland, and Richard Davies, Head of Collection Programmes at the British Library
  • Protecting the freedom to read: Books Unbanned and digital access for teens – Nick Higgins, Chief Librarian, and Amy Mikel, Director of Customer Experience, from Brooklyn Public Library
  • Closing reflections – Dave Lloyd, Service Development Manager from Coventry Libraries
β€œI think the overall programme was excellent and there was plenty there to stimulate and learn from.

Lots to take away, process and think about how to apply in my day to day work.”

Who attended?

People who work in libraries such as digital leads, managers, and Heads of Service who oversee or deliver digital programmes.β€― We also welcomed people from other related organisations. We offered bursaries for library services who otherwise wouldn’t have been able to attend.

Thank you to all our contributors and attendees. We hope you enjoyed the day!