Research Centre for Museums and Galleries (RCMG)

Books connect 2

Led by public libraries, Books Connect 2 demonstrates how books and reading can inspire innovative ways for libraries, museums and archives to work in partnership with the arts to develop new audiences and new venues for reading inspired creativity. The second phase of the project sought to embed and sustain the work of its predecessor project, Books Connect 1, completed in November 2002.

Aims and objectives

RCMG was commissioned by the East Midlands Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (EMMLAC), The Society of Chief Librarians and the Reading Agency to evaluate the second phase of the Books Connect project. The theme was community cohesion and to encourage the sharing of cultural experience between different communities through reading. RCMG worked in partnership with EMMLAC to evaluate nine projects across the East Midlands and provided in-depth evidence of the impact of the experience upon participants using the Generic Learning Outcomes.

Key findings

  • A total of 3,617 people took part in the nine projects of Books Connect 2, over ten times more people than the first phase of the programme.
  • Books Connect reached out to a number of diverse audiences. Work was undertaken with participants of a wide range of ages, experiences and abilities, economic and social disadvantage, rural and urban communities, and isolated communities such as prisoners and travellers.
  • Project co-ordinators felt that being involved in Books Connect 2 led to new skills and experiences for library staff, including community awareness and knowledge, developing community partnerships, understanding the needs and cultural differences of partner organisations, and working on a larger scale than previous projects.


Books Connect 2 is an advocacy document for staff, arts organisations and their funders. It is an inspirational document giving details of the nine projects and exploring the impact upon participants.

Books Connect 2 (Report, 2004) (PDF, 1,335KB)

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