On Monday 6th November, 2017, we were proud to co-host The Creative Library Conference alongside Writing West Midlands at The Hive in Worcester. This important event in the calendar of literature advocates in the region was for the first time this year open to library staff nationally.
The day featured presentations from a range of speakers discussing the Society of Chief Librarians' Cultural Offer, exploring what this means for creatives and lovers of libraries. The day began with a talk from Catherine Mann introducing the Cultural Offer, followed by an inspiring presentation from Stella Duffy about Fun Palaces and their potential for libraries.
There was an opportunity to "speed-date" the creatives, enabling library staff to speak directly with local artists and writers with a view to stimulating new ideas and projects.
Everyone was then treated to a haunting performance from Highly Sprung Theatre that brought to life Miss Havisham from Charles Dicken's Great Expectations.
Participants were given a choice of workshops to attend, including:
- How Library staff can work effectively with cultural organisations – Liz Leyshon
- The Cultural Offer in the context of Books and Reading – Catherine Mann
- Finding funding for a cultural event in your library – Jonathan Davidson & Victoria Barton
- Knit and Natter, Film Nights, Opera: What does Culture in libraries look like? – Roz Goddard
Finally, the conference ended with a performance from poet Matt Black, who called on participants to carry forward the ideas and plans inspired by the day's events.