In my last blog I talked about the awesome selection of books we have for you to choose from. And as great as these are, books are not our only offer. Libraries also provide an array of groups, clubs, events and activities for you to attend whatever your age.
Wellbeing for some can very much be linked to how lonely or isolated they feel. Some people like having their own time (I’m an introvert so fit very nicely into this category!) others need to draw their energy from being around other people (know as extroverts). Loneliness can affect anyone though, of any age, whatever your personality or background and, although they may be more at danger of social isolation, it is something that is not always relegated to the older members of our community.
Libraries are fantastic for providing somewhere for you to go. They are warm and comfortable and if you don’t want to speak to anyone you don’t have to! From a personal point of view, sometimes just being around other people can make you feel connected. I love coffee shops but in a library you’re not obliged to keep buying coffee! Pick a chair, grab a book (or newspaper or magazine) and relax.
However, if you do want to interact a bit more, then check out what your local library might be offering in the way of activities. In age order, some of the following might whet your appetite.
For our youngest library customers (and their accompanying adults!) we have Rhyme Time and Story Stomp. Held regularly at most of our council run libraries these sessions offer a chance for you and your baby to listen and join in with rhymes, songs and stories. Supported by musical instruments and sometimes props such as scarves and puppets they are 30 minutes of relaxation and fun! Your baby can learn, listen and meet other babies and you can meet other parents and carers.
For primary school aged children we run a number of clubs and groups: Chatterbooks, a reading group for children aged 8 to 11, Lego Club and Coding Clubs. Check out your local library to see if one runs near you. Taking part can give your child a sense of connection, learning, communication skills and a chance to have fun!
Over the summer holidays we run the Summer Reading Challenge. A national scheme that challenges children to read (any) six books, offering various incentives to collect as they go along. If they finish six books they get a certificate and medal. Often there is a chance to attend a presentation ceremony! Taking part in the challenge and particularly finishing can give a real sense of achievement and satisfaction and a boost to their self esteem. All of which can not be underestimated in improving children’s wellbeing.
There are also other events for children running across the year during the school holidays including our annual festival Fantastic Fun with Words! Taking place later this month, find out what might be happening in a library near you!
For teens we have a new teen reading group taking place at Leamington. It’s a brand new group so this is a good chance to come along and shape the way it develops.
If you are aged 13-17 and a budding poet, do you think you could our next Young Poet Laureate? The position of Young Poet Laureate is unique, giving the appointed person an opportunity to work with Warwickshire Libraries. Our poet laureate takes part in events and activities across the county under the mentorship of a professional poet. Warwickshire Young Poet Laureates have performed on the radio, on film, at festivals and led their own poetry workshops. It’s open to those of the above age group and who are living or being educated in Warwickshire.
For our grown up library visitors we have various authors, storytellers, poets and musicians who visit our libraries during the year. Check out our eventbrite listings on the library website to see what is happening and where.
In the coming months we have storyteller and dramatist, Julie Ann Cooper, performing the Emmeline Pankhurst Story at Leamington Library on the 9th October. Sure to be an inspiring evening! Tickets are £3.
If your taste runs more to crime, come and listen to Stephen Booth, acclaimed crime writer who will be visiting Leamington Library on the 14th November and Nuneaton Library on the 22nd November. An author of 18 novels and winner of awards!
So pop into your nearest library and check out what might be happening near you.