Just an update on the Fun Palaces project in the London Borough of Lambeth next month.
On Saturday, 3rd October, eleven venues run by Lambeth Libraries and Lambeth Archives will open their doors for people to try their hand at the arts and sciences, storytelling and play, exploration and adventure.
Novelist, therapist, and radio host Lucy Beresford will be joining us at Clapham Library for a Q&A session, as will the entrepreneur Tara Benson, founder and CEO of Here and Now. Staff from City University will be running zine workshops and library tours exploring the science of serendipity.
In Brixton, Louie Stowell – who worked on Australia’s Parkes Library Fun Palace in 2014 – will be running sessions based on her new book The Astronaut’s Handbook – alongside participatory theatre from Needless Alley Collective and the launch of a new game from the kids’ Code Club led by Lambeth Libraries’ Zoey Dixon.
At Upper Norwood Library, there will be special board game and tabletop roleplay sessions from Andy Horton, librarian at Regent’s University – and across the borough, you’ll also find jewellery making, firefighters, art, science, dance, play, and all kinds of creative mayhem.
Stella Duffy, co-director of the national Fun Palaces event, will be leading a walking and writing tour of Lambeth, visiting each one of our library venues.
The Fun Palace vision – of participants not audiences, of locally made art and science and play – exemplifies the best work that I’ve seen in libraries, galleries, and museums over the past few years.
Fun Palaces remind us that libraries are about so much more than shelves (PDF) and they make space for wild play as well as more structured activities.
In a time of budget cuts and austerity, Library Fun Palaces emphasise community collaboration and the power of volunteering, while still recognising the unique skills which professional librarians have to offer.
Most importantly, Fun Palaces focus on arts provision for all, not just for a privileged centre.
Lambeth Libraries’ Fun Palaces run across the borough on Saturday 3rd October 2015.