Imaginative Spaces - Year 2

Re-imagining libraries as cultural hubs at the heart of the community.

Imaginative Spaces was a year-long 'artist in residence' project which focused on a programme of work delivered in St Matthew's and St Barnabas Libraries, to support storytelling as a medium to promote reading for pleasure and language development.

The two artists in residence, Manya Benenson (St Barnabas Library) and Andy Reeves (St Matthews Library), worked with library staff, schools, families and community groups to develop a programme of work that shows creative and innovative ways to use library spaces, books and other resources.

Local children and families were invited to take part take part in a range of creative activities, events, workshops and performance opportunities that can be realised alongside reading.

This project was delivered in partnership with Leicester Library Service, supported using public funding by Arts Council England, and forms part of a broader strategy that seeks to develop libraries as a beacon of excellence – a creative hub at the heart of the community, cultivating a renewed sense of ownership of local libraries, and encouraging families and children to become actively involved in arts and culture at the heart of their community.

The year climaxed with two very special final events: the installation of Mr Tootles' Storychair at St Barnabas, and performances of a new play The Crossing, written by Andy Reeves and based on interviews with local residents in St Matthews.

A Creative Toolkit for Libraries

Download the Imaginative Spaces - A Creative Toolkit for Libraries brochure here.