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What's on Guide spring/summer 2024

Warwickshire Libraries is celebrating one year of National Portfolio Organisation (NPO) status with Arts Council England.

Warwickshire Libraries is celebrating one year of National Portfolio Organisation (NPO) status with Arts Council England – and being the first library to be awarded NPO status in the West Midlands – with the launch of the service’s new What’s on Guide.

NPO status means that Warwickshire Libraries is receiving funding from Arts Council England’s Investment Programme for 2023-26. This includes support to deliver a variety of cultural and creative programming and outreach activities, with a particular focus on libraries and communities in North Warwickshire, Nuneaton and Bedworth, which also meet the criteria for assistance as part of the Government’s Levelling Up agenda.

Warwickshire Libraries delivered a successful year of activities for 2023-24, engaging over 1800 residents across almost 80 cultural and creative events, and over 220 days of library-related activities, exceeding the service’s original targets.

Warwickshire Libraries’ cultural and creative activities have been welcomed by residents across the county with many events selling out ahead of time. Examples of the new events have included Human Books, a different type of storytelling experience where volunteers share their stories and different perspectives with others; Shakespeare’s First Folio tours and quizzes, where residents of all ages can learn more about the only contemporary source of eighteen of Shakespeare’s plays; and Body in the Library, a thrilling series of murder mystery events inspired by real crimes found in Warwickshire’s Local History archives.

To celebrate and build on this enriching programme of events, Warwickshire Libraries has launched a What’s on Guide to help residents find out more about the breadth of services available for free at Warwickshire Libraries.

The guide highlights free regular and special activities for children, young people, adults, and families, as well as Warwickshire Libraries’ digital offer, and library services for those unable to attend their local library due to ill health or disability, including the Mobile Library and Home Library services.

Copies of the What’s on Guide for spring/summer 2024 are available for free at multiple libraries across the county, St John’s House Museum, Kingsbury Water Park, University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire, multiple Children and Family Centres, Warwickshire Community and Voluntary Action in Nuneaton, Equality and Inclusion Partnership’s (EQuIP) office in Rugby, and communal spaces at District and Borough Councils.

A digital version of the What's on Guide is also available to view here.

Rob Powell, Executive Director for Resources, said:

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Warwickshire Libraries team for their energy, commitment, passion, and determination to deliver such a strong first year for the service as a National Portfolio Organisation. They have championed both the County Council and Art Council England’s values with a community powered approach to be bold, innovative, and dynamic throughout their service delivery.

 

“As we move into the second year of this NPO partnership, the team will continue working to position Warwickshire Libraries as a key cultural asset within the county, creating opportunities to become a leader in cultural engagement on a countywide, regional, and even national scale.”

From left to right: Anjna Chouhan, Ayub Khan, Lucy Carlton-Walker, and Carol Brown at Buckingham Palace.

From left to right: Anjna Chouhan, Ayub Khan, Lucy Carlton-Walker, and Carol Brown at Buckingham Palace.

To recognise this successful partnership with Arts Council England, NPO Creative Producer, Dr Anjna Chouhan, NPO Creative Lead, Lucy Carlton-Walker, Special Projects Coordinator, Carol Brown, and Head of Libraries, Heritage & Culture, and Registration Services, Ayub Khan, were invited as guests of Arts Council England to attend Buckingham Palace on Wednesday 15 May. The event at the Palace celebrated the achievements of delivering arts and culture to local communities with the government’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Looking ahead, Warwickshire Libraries is excited to build on this first year of success, with a range of events already in the pipeline for 2024-25. This includes the annual Summer Reading Challenge for children including exciting launch events; a Hidden Stories artistic response to highlight excluded and forgotten voices from Warwickshire’s Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities; interactive Cultural Beats sessions to learn about dance from different parts of the world; tours of Shakespeare Facsimile First Folio throughout the year, and much more.

To read more about Warwickshire Libraries’ NPO status, visit www.warwickshire.gov.uk/libraries-2/national-portfolio-organisation-npo

To keep-up to date with Warwickshire Libraries’ latest activities, information, and events, you can follow them on Facebook and Twitter, sign-up to the weekly newsletter, or read the Warwickshire Libraries blog.

Published: 24th June 2024

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