The aim of the 3rd co-design session at Chorley Library was for the group to work in established groups to co-design tools to help each Neighbourhood Centre address challenges in their own way. To help the groups get started Leon presented some tips for designing great tools:
- Daft ideas can lead to interesting, practical ones
- Document LOTS of different ideas then combine them
- Simplicity is good for the final design, having to learn to use something is difficult for end users
- Think about what you’re trying to achieve, will your idea do this, or is it just a cool idea?
- Imagine if this tool came to you cold, how would you react? What would you need to get you to warm to it?
To groups were encouraged to think about how their tool ideas would work in three different types of centre scenarios, such as: a centre in a culturally diverse city, a centre with a small health clinic, or centre with a strong youth presence. Throughout the co-design sessions the groups were supported to constantly think about what is the idea trying to do and why is that valuable?
After working on the tools all morning the groups presented their ideas to Julie Bell, Head of Libraries, Museums, Culture and Registrars who joined us for the afternoon session. The Leapfrog collaboration is taking place at the same time as the Lancashire County Council Property Consultation review. The consultation is resulting in the closure of many libraries and Children’s Centres and the transition to delivering services from Neighbourhood Centres. As the County Council Cabinet made the final decisions on the consultation, some of Lancashire’s libraries doors are going to be closing their doors this week. With this in mind we invited Julie to speak to her team about the future of the library service and neighbourhood Centres and the skills county council professionals would need to thrive amongst the inevitable changes taking place. A key message is that libraries have long been configured to be community libraries. For Julie a warm welcome and effective level of engagement with everybody who walks through the door, as well as excellent internal communication between teams is going to be crucial to the success of the Neighbourhood Centres.
The Leapfrog tools being developed by the co-design team fit well within this context by focussing on reaching out to communities and staff working effectively across many different teams and services. Despite a period of great change, new possibilities and excitement about how future services can be delivered were evident in the discussions. To conclude the workshop the groups revisited the tool ideas in light of Julie’s talk on the future of libraries and the new level of engagement that would be required. Individuals then voted and commented on the ideas and were given the opportunity to join new tool groups if preferred. The final tool ideas will be taken forward and co-designed in small group sessions over the coming months.