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2023 - 2024

U.S. Embassy Italy. Funding program: Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund 2023

Design Thinking in Rome’s libraries for the inclusion of second generation young people

Have you ever thought of library as a space of unlimited possibilities?

The Libraries of Rome still need to be recognized by citizens as places of socialization, exchange and access to knowledge.

The project wants to promote an audience-oriented work model and aimed at the empowerment of library staff of the suburb of Rome, who will acquire skills and tools to involve second generation young people in the co-design and co-management of spaces, services and activities.

Federica Taeko Centra, MeP project manager, is the winner of the Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund 2023 and she will implement the project in collaboration with the alumna and writer Igiaba Scego.

Rome Open Library involves several steps.
We start with the identification and involvement of a library in the city of Rome as a pilot partner and with the selection of operators who will be involved in supporting the action.

An implementation phase follows with a first exploratory activity in the field to listen to and understand second generation young people. The library, with the help of local organizations, will collect qualitative data; a second phase of development of new skills for the library operators follows. The library staff will participate in a short training course aimed at transferring skills in design thinking, audience engagement and digital storytelling.

Subsequently, a series of workshops will be held by and with library staff, involving local organizations and second generation young people who will work together using design thinking to co-develop a prototype of new solutions that libraries can adopt to become more relevant on the territory and oriented to the new needs of users.

Library staff, local organizations and young people involved will test the new prototyped solution through a series of open events, with the participation of a wider audience from local communities.

At the end of the process, recommendations for the scalability of the action will be developed and a final event to promote them will be organized.

‘Having a new view costs nothing; the idea that innovation is expensive is wrong! All it takes is to look at the world differently, to be able to see all the possibilities that already exist.’

The Teen Programs Group at the Chicago Public Library (Illinois, United States)

Download the Design Thinking for Libraries Toolkit for free here.

The Rome Open Library project is financed by the Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund of the Embassy of the United States of America in Italy.

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