At the end of January 2017, we hosted an event to share the tools that were co-​designed by professionals from Lancashire County Council and Leapfrog during the Neighbourhood Centres major project. 

The five tools that have been designed throughout a series of collaborative workshops are…

  • Flip, which draws attention to the unexpected variety libraries and centres offer
  • Comms Stretcher & Focus, which helps teams be more adventurous with how they reach out to their community
  • Flow Customer Cards & Map, which helps teams to focus on their customer’s needs
  • The Small Things; a simple and fun way for teams to communicate with one another
  • Building Success, which helps teams to work together to figure out how to use their building and space

Nine co-​designers played a key role in presenting the tools and facilitating small tool trial activities for fourteen fellow librarians and representatives from other services in the county council.  The Leapfrog team helped the dedicated co-​designers prepare for the event in a morning session where they worked in groups to consider how they would explain the value of the tool, how to use it and situations where it could be useful in neighbourhood centres.  This was straightforward for the co-​designers who all knew the tools really well due to the depth of their involvement in the co-​design tool process throughout the project.

At the start of the event, each group shared a headline for their tool, which explained briefly what the tool was and why the tool was useful to new teams in libraries and neighbourhood centres.  The participants then spent time trialling the tools with guidance from the co-​designers, followed by discussion and feedback on each of the tools.

Julie Bell, Head of Libraries, Museums, Culture and Registrars for LCC gave an inspiring presentation at the end of event and shared the two tools she had designed with Leapfrog; the Any Idea Cards, which encourage and celebrate idea sharing in teams and Think Outside bookmark, which encourage staff to leave their comfort zones and become inspired. 

As the participants left the event, each of them were able to select two tools from the ‘tool buffet’ laid out ready for them and they signed their name against the tools they would trial in the services they work within.  The feedback from the trials will feed into the development of a toolbox (a collection of the tools with guidelines for use) for the project, which will be shared in the county and across the country.

The event was a great success.  The feedback for the tools was both positive and useful for further refinement for the toolbox, and the participants signed up to trial the tools 28 times with different teams across the county.  The co-​designers who facilitated the introduction of the tools and activities used their expertise to share the tools in a way that the Leapfrog would not have been able to do without them and we hope to carry this expertise into the toolbox design.

Leapfrog would like to thank everyone who attended the event, particularly the co-​design group who were key to success of the tools and event, including Julie Bell.