Falmouth Library worked in collaboration with Then Try This (previously known as FoAM) to learn how to deliver AccessLab workshops. These workshops are designed to demystify the world of academic research and show people how to access peer reviewed articles and information. The project aims were to reach new library users and to provide new, challenging and quality learning experiences for regular library users and volunteers.
The library service and Then Try This worked with academics from ECEHH (European Centre for the Environment and Human Health), part of the University of Exeter Medical School.
There were 3 AccessLab workshops delivered over a year. FoAM delivered the first one, the library service co-delivered the second and then library staff delivered the last session with help from some of the academic partners. The workshops had been planned to be delivered in the library building, however due to the pandemic were moved online. This move to online, although it posed some challenges, opened up access to more academics and members of the public that lived further afield.
Members of the public who took part in the workshops said they experienced a positive impact on their lives. New members of the public engaged with the library service. Perceptions of the library changed for partners and previous non-users and it is now thought of as a space where new ideas can be explored.
The library project manager has improved their digital skills and feels more confident using a variety of online platforms and online collaborative writing tools.