The Literature and Library sectors are amongst the fastest growing and evolving in the world of arts, culture and heritage.

When you want to get away from it all, what’s better than a beach read to immerse you in another world? When a city needed to come together in the aftermath of violence, what better than a poem to capture the grief and defiance? Literature can be both an intensely private and a powerfully public art form, and what readers, listeners, writers, reciters get from it is every bit as varied. Similarly, libraries are some of the most inclusive and valued spaces in our society, offering everything from discovery to refuge, transformation to sheer fun.

Arts Council England's focus on libraries in its newly released ten-year strategy rightly acknowledges and champions the great work that is already being done in this sector - and has been for many years. Awareness is growing of the vital role libraries have to play in empowering their communities to make relevant and accessible connections with arts and culture, so ACE's intention to support this momentum is very welcome news. The library professionals we work with are acutely aware of their unique position and role in their local communities, and consider this a priority when looking at partnerships, programming, and development of any offer beyond their core services - it's an impressive process to behold.

The rich variety of audiences, formats and impacts make the literature and library sectors a fascinating area to work in - whether in creating nuanced evaluation frameworks, detailed mapping and profiling of users, exploration of the needs and motivations of writers, or much more. This sector has required us as an agency to draw on our full range of skills to support it in continuing to flourish.

"Oliver Mantell, The Audience Agency's policy research director and literature lead, has driven change on our thinking about poetry audiences, contributing significantly to the shaping of National Poetry Day's engagement strategy. His presentations of data around poetry readership and event attendance at our London Book Fair Poetry Summits in April 2018 and March 2019 have been particularly valuable in raising understanding of poetry audiences."

Susannah Herbert, Executive Director, Forward Arts Foundation


Image of Report | Reading for Pleasure
Report | Reading for Pleasure

This new report, commissioned by Arts Council England, examines reading habits, motivations for reading and how people are choosing to engage with literature.

Image of Audience Report | Live Literature Events
Audience Report | Live Literature Events

This report draws together what we know of Live Literature Events from the many hundreds of organisations that contribute booking and survey data to Audience Finder.

Image of Case in Point | Royal Society of Literature
Case in Point | Royal Society of Literature

The Audience Agency has been consulting with the RSL on a number of projects, investigating the landscape of literature creators and consumers in the 21st century.

Image of Case in Point | St Helens Council Library Service
Case in Point | St Helens Council Library Service

How the Senior Arts In Libraries Officer for St Helens Council used Audience Finder to make a successful case for revolutionising marketing practices.

Image of Report | Evidencing Libraries
Report | Evidencing Libraries

Arts Council England commissioned The Audience Agency to understand the extraordinary reach of public libraries and especially how audience research and data are accessed and used by library practitioners.

Image of Case in Point | South Gloucestershire Libraries
Case in Point | South Gloucestershire Libraries

The Audience Agency has been working with library professionals in the region to develop Audience Development skills in support of their 'library theatre' program.

Image of Case in Point | For the Love of Words
Case in Point | For the Love of Words

Working with writer and performance poet Louisa Adjoa Parker to evaluate her ACE funded prison and community based spoken word project.

Image of Resource | Libraries Taskforce Resource Pack
Resource | Libraries Taskforce Resource Pack

A Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport commissioned resource, designed to assist libraries in evaluating their cultural engagement activities.

Image of Case in Point | The Literary Consultancy
Case in Point | The Literary Consultancy

Director, Aki Schilz, discusses working with The Audience Agency to understand TLC's core value proposition, community needs and future potential.

Image of Case in Point | Phizz-whizzing Focus Groups
Case in Point | Phizz-whizzing Focus Groups

How we led an in-world magical Roald-Dahl inspired evaluation of City of the Unexpected.