Libraries to offer more arts and cultural events

Wednesday, 14th March 2018

VISITORS to Staffordshire libraries are set to experience more arts and performances as part of a new project to bring cultural activities to local communities.

The new national Culture Offer developed by the Society of Chief Librarians (SCL) and Arts Council England will help libraries offer more people the chance to experience performance, arts, exhibitions, music and film. People will also get the chance to meet individual artists, actors, dancers and writers who will excite, inspire and challenge visitors.

The offer is being launched during Shakespeare Week from 12 to 18 March 2018, with activities planned across the county’s libraries.

Gill heath, Cabinet member for Communities at Staffordshire County Council said: “We’re all very excited about this latest offer that will help to bring new and diverse cultural experiences to our libraries. It means that people who wouldn’t normally get the opportunity to see such activities will now be able to easily enjoy them.

“Libraries are already welcoming places where children and adults can immerse themselves in every form of art and are therefore ideally placed to put on these kinds of activities. We also know that attending cultural and arts events are good for people’s health and wellbeing too so it’s a win win situation for everyone.”

Library staff will be trained to become confident Cultural Champions for their communities, and libraries will be working closely with local and national arts organisations to put on events.

The Culture Offer complements other universal offers already available in many libraries including, health and books on prescription, learning and digital.

Library staff Libby Clark, Karen Yeomans and Lisa Bentley.
Library staff Libby Clark, Karen Yeomans and Lisa Bentley.

Neil MacInnes, president of SCL said: “We are delighted to be launching the Culture Offer at a time when libraries are playing an ever stronger role in the cultural life of the nation.  We know that the cultural offer will play a significant part in libraries’ development over the next four years and we are looking forward to the new partnerships and creative opportunities that it will provide.

“This offer will give libraries the resources to expand their partnerships with local culture organisations and provide more ways for customers to get involved.  We want to attract new library customers through arts and culture, and help people who don’t engage with art to develop a love and appreciation of it.”