Libraries aren’t just great places to read your favourite books, they’re also community spaces that host an array of child friendly activities. With autumn half-term coming up, we decided to find out more about what’s going on at Leeds libraries.
Today we talk to Owen Clements, the Children’s Information Librarian at Leeds Central Library, about the events they’re putting on over the coming month…
We know the library service work hard planning fun activities for the school holidays, what do you think makes a good event for children and young people?
A friendly, welcoming atmosphere! I like events to be relaxed, and for everyone to feel included, whether they’re participating in one of our planned activities; have come to meet other children and parents; or even if they’re just reading or using the computers.
The most important thing is that events should be FUN!!! – that’s ‘fun’ with capital letters and lots of exclamation marks.
What’s your favourite children’s event Leeds libraries have hosted?
That’s a tough question…
I loved the Lego events we ran over summer, the vehicles and contraptions that people came up with were amazing, seeing all that imagination running wild over the library was great. We recently had mask-making to celebrate Black History Month, which was a lot of fun. And we had story-telling through dance as well, which was great and improved my own dancing skills a lot.
Oh, and I almost forgot our regular story-time at Leeds Central Library! It’s hard because there are just too many to choose from…
What do you think makes events at Leeds libraries special?
I’m really proud of the sheer range of events that Leeds libraries run for children, all across the city: crafts, stories, author talks, drawing, writing, playing games, building stuff, destroying stuff, all of it!
Libraries are such welcoming places, open for anyone to come and stay, for as long as they like. I love seeing children and families in the library after events are finished – happy and comfortable, and not wanting to leave.
Can you give us a taster what’s coming up at Leeds Central Library his half-term?
It’s Halloween, so I’m really excited to make some creepy creatures, ghosts, and monsters out of scrap on Tuesday 28 October. We also have the fabulous Kate Pankhurst – who drew the pictures for the outside of our new Children’s Mobile Library (see picture above) – coming in to do a drawing workshop for families on 30 October. And everything kicks off with a Saturday Family Drop-in on the 25 October, when our friends from Carriageworks Theatre will be dropping by with stories and crafts!
But that’s just a taster of what’s going on at Central, there are plenty more events going on at local libraries and you can check out full events listings on the Leeds City Council events page: http://www.leeds.gov.uk/events/Pages/default.aspx , and through our @LeedsLibraries Twitter feed.
A huge thanks to Owen for taking the time to talk to us about Leeds libraries, make sure to check out the event listings and pop down this half-term.
What’s your experience of library events for children and young people? What have you got planned for autumn half-term? Why not let us know by leaving a comment below, or drop us a Tweet at @child_leeds.