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Article date - 20 October 2017
The service will join 13 other library services across the UK in receiving a share of £200,000 of ‘Engaging Libraries’ funding from the Carnegie UK Trust to use creative methods to bring people together by exploring ideas related to health and wellbeing.
· The development of graphic novels
· Teddy bear picnics
· Vlogs and podcasts
In partnership with Essex, Devon and Sheffield library services, St Helens Library Service will deliver a programme called ‘Empathy Lab’ which will explore the concept of empathy through public engagement activities and support emotional skills, culminating in interactive library activities on Empathy Day in June 2018.
Welcoming the funding, St Helens Council’s Cabinet Member for Libraries and Leisure Services, Councillor Sue Murphy said: “For a number of years, our library service has supported the health and wellbeing of residents through ground-breaking projects such as the Creative Alternatives programme, designed to reduce stress, anxiety and depression, so I’m delighted to hear that we have been recognised in this way so we can reach out and help even more residents discover what peaceful and creative places libraries are.”
Martyn Evans, Chief Executive, Carnegie UK Trust added: “Public libraries are unique, trusted places at the heart of local communities. The Engaging Libraries programme gives libraries the opportunity to engage with the public on a range of complex health and wellbeing issues, providing a safe space for debate, discussion, interaction and learning.
“We were delighted to receive 120 thought provoking applications to the programme and we are very excited about the range and quality of the winning entries. We’re looking forward to seeing these projects come to fruition and we hope that they will be a source of inspiration and learning for the public library sector.”