Accessibility statement


Have you ever had a great idea to improve the Library and Archives but not known what to do with it? This is your chance to work with us to shape our services and to improve the experience of fellow students.

The winning idea will receive a prize of £1,000 and we will work with you to introduce it to the Library and Archives. The winner will also receive the title 'Library Innovator 2020’.

Your ideas could be about the resources that we stock, or the space or technology that we provide. We welcome any ideas, big or small. In addition to the main prize, we may also award smaller cash prizes for ideas that we don't shortlist but that we are able to implement quickly and easily, improving the Library and Archives experience for our students.

LibInspo 2020

LibInspo 2020

We will consider anything but ideas must be feasible to implement and relevant to using the Library and Archives. Please refer to the full terms and conditions to understand more of what we are looking for.

Submissions for LibInspo 2020 are now closed. Check back soon to see how you can get involved with the competition.

LibInspo 2019

LibInspo 2019

The final judging event took place on Thursday 28 February in the Ron Cooke Hub in Campus East. Five student finalists presented their pitch to a judging panel and audience members, including Library and Archives staff, other staff from across the University and a number of students. Each finalist gave a presentation of up to five minutes, followed by questions from the judges.

The event host was Richard Morris, a York alumnus and CEO of The Giving Machine. Richard introduced the event and each finalist, and gave a keynote about his career since leaving York whilst the judges selected the winning submission.

The Library Innovators 2019 were Yuveer Ramchandani (TFTI) and Daniel Famiyeh (Electronic Engineering) who pitched their app “Deskmate” to monitor study space availability within the library. Yuveer and Daniel created the app from scratch, utilising our publicly available live library data.

Eleanor Ingham (SPSW) was awarded Highly Commended for her idea “Electronic library card and UoY app”. Eleanor impressed the judges with her market research.

Congratulations to the rest of our finalist who also gave great pitches:

  • Emily Mellows (Department of English): Wellbeing section
  • Katie Parton  (Psychology): Escape room
  • Thomas Kent (History): Study room availability screens

LibInspo legacy

LibInspo legacy

As a result of LibInspo 2019, the Library and Archives have:

  • worked with the winning students to create their Deskmate app, elements of which will hopefully be included in the student app currently being developed at the University
  • set up the new Living Room space in Fairhurst, which was inspired by a range of LibInspo submissions around student wellbeing
  • designed signage for study desks to promote the ‘text us’ service, in response to consistent themes in the LibInspo submissions around noise and behaviour in the Library
  • begun work to install art and additional plants within the Library, which was requested in a number of submissions
  • purchased new picnic tables on the Fairhurst lawn with the help of one of the LibInspo respondents.

We’re still working on lots more amazing ideas, so check back here for more updates soon!

What makes a good submission?

What makes a good submission?

With £1,000 up for grabs, you might want to spend some time thinking about how to make your submission as persuasive and attention-grabbing as possible. The following tips should give you some food for thought.

  • Remember that we won’t have seen your submission until after you’ve sent it in. Try to write it so that it makes sense for someone who doesn’t know the background and who hasn’t heard of the idea before. Why not ask a friend to sense check it before you submit?

  • We’re looking for ideas with plenty of detail. We need enough information about your idea to decide whether it’s worthy of being a finalist - not to mention worthy of winning the £1,000! Tell us what is interesting or distinctive about your idea and make sure that we can understand how it will benefit the student experience at the University.

  • Be passionate! Explain what inspired your idea and help us to appreciate what makes it noteworthy. Perhaps you’ve faced challenges in your own experience of using the Library and Archives which can help bring your idea to life?

  • Do some research about what we provide at the University. We might already offer your idea in some form, so make sure you’ve looked on our website or asked around before you submit.

  • See whether your idea exists at another university. This might give us some helpful inspiration about how the idea might work at York. Remember to acknowledge if you’ve seen the idea somewhere else and to tell us why it’s a good fit for our university.