Libraries Live is a 3 county partnership project, happening in 3 libraries, led by 3 artists in 3 different communities, across Warwickshire, Leicestershire & Staffordshire.
Launching in September, artists will begin working closely with community managed libraries and the wider community to explore the theme of ‘change’ in libraries and the ethos behind communities working together.
The landscape of delivery of library services across the UK is changing rapidly. Across these 3 counties alone, over 50 libraries are managed by local communities, typically serving catchments of 10-20,000 residents. Each residency will explore how libraries are becoming actively creative spaces that embrace, celebrate & inspire positive change.
Participants will be encouraged to share stories about volunteering and about what libraries mean to them, what their aspirations are for the future and how libraries and communities can work together to achieve them.
At Newbold Verdon Library, Leicestershire based textile artist Ruth Singer will work with adults and older people to explore their experiences of volunteering and the sense of community which working together brings. Through a range of creative activities, she will gather people’s thoughts and experiences which will inform a new piece of work.
At Water Orton Library, Warwickshire based mixed media artist Michaela McMillan will work with younger adults & teenagers using a number of themed activities in her approach, such as; large scale collaborative making sessions to explore what can be achieved when people work together, creating different layers, all contributing to a final outcome.
In Staffordshire, Glascote Library will be working with New Vic Theatre to engage children & families using theatre techniques where groups of people experience the power that can arise from working together as a community; supporting each other & allowing ideas to develop. Together, they will explore ‘transformation’ and ‘new beginnings’ and how this can build resilience & flexibility in people of all ages.
This project will not only enable library volunteers to explore the possibilities of running quality arts activities in their library, but will also give a real insight into the benefits and positive impact volunteering has to offer in the community.
Each artist will create new work in response to their residency which will culminate in an exhibition set to tour the three county libraries from April next year.
To keep up to date with the project, follow;
@StaffsLibraries @leicslibraries @warkslibraries
Libraries Live is a 3 County Partnership between Staffordshire County Council, Warwickshire County Council & Leicestershire County Council Library Services, supported by Arts Council public funding.