Farnsfield Library

Published 19th September 2023

Libraries Week, organised by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals CILIP, takes place every year to highlight just some of the ways that libraries enrich lives and add value to the community. This year’s theme is Green Libraries, focusing on libraries’ actions to promote sustainability and act against climate change. From 2-8 October, Inspire are getting involved by sharing their local and low-cost courses, fantastic range of books and eResources and hosting environmentally-friendly activities in libraries. 

Inspire libraries are vibrant community hubs with exciting events and social opportunities for everyone, but without a doubt the most recognisable feature for visitors is the thousands of books that grace the shelves. With titles from every genre you can imagine in paperback, hardback, large print and audio, book lovers will delight at the wonders that await. The best part? Book borrowing in Inspire libraries is free of charge and means that books get to be read multiple times, making it kind to your purse and to the planet!

In August 2022, Inspire was awarded a grant of £2,500 from CILIP through their Green Libraries Partnership with support from Arts Council England and in partnership with British Library, Libraries Connected and Julie’s Bicycle. Named ‘Project LOGGS’ (Libraries Outdoor Green Garden Spaces), this enabled Inspire libraries to demonstrate environmental understanding and action through local partnerships, community engagement activities and staff, stock and space interventions. The libraries selected to take part were Bilsthorpe and Harworth & Bircotes, where outdoor spaces were designed to not only provide additional space for events but help nurture local communities understanding of living sustainably and restoring the natural world. Since completion of the project, library gardens have provided a valuable space for growing vegetables and pollinating wildflowers, as well as learning and leisure with organisations getting involved to provide outdoor activities for local school pupils.

Schools can benefit hugely from Inspire’s Education Library Service, a valuable resource in Nottinghamshire providing curriculum support and title-by-title requests service to teachers.  The estimated cost of 600 items, bought new, could have been as much as £8,000 while in 2021, Inspire’s ELS offered the same number of items for just £609 per year saving schools money and ensuring children can access a wide range of literature. Plus, schools can feel proud in the knowledge that they are instilling values of reducing waste and reusing materials in their students.

For learners beyond school age, Inspire Adult Learning courses explore hobbies, digital skills, languages and more with sessions taking place in libraries around the county. Courses for 2024 are already taking bookings, with interesting courses for the green-fingered and eco-conscious. Learners can discover Sowing and Growing Techniques or engage in an Introduction to Wildlife and Conservation, taking place over six weeks and with a Level 1 award on completion.  Forget travelling long distances to access quality learning – with these Ofsted-rated Good courses you can learn local, and go far!

Libraries can provide so much to the community, not least with their fantastic offer for children and families. There’s no need to make expensive journeys to enjoy arts and culture – with Inspire’s exhibitions, jazz performances and family theatre you can enjoy so much without having to leave your locality. This Autumn sees the return of Nottingham Playhouse in Inspire libraries with ‘The Magical Major Oak: Autumn and the Falling Leaves’. Tickets are just £2 per person for 45 minutes of immersive storytelling and enchanting adventures, showing that value for money can be found a lot closer to home than families may realise.

Many events will take place during Libraries Week which have been inspired by the Green theme, with sessions such as book folding to encourage them to give our libraries’ tired and unwanted books a new lease of life. Some will also offer fun recycling games for children and talks and quizzes for adults, sharing information on how to protect our planet’s resources and reduce landfill waste in their day-to-day life.  

Peter Gaw, Chief Executive Officer of Inspire, says:

“I’m excited that this year’s Libraries Week raises awareness of the importance of libraries in the community by highlighting the impact they can have on sustainability. Through our delivery of libraries on behalf of Nottinghamshire County Council we offer a range of services in the heart of the community meaning users don’t have to travel far to read, learn or enjoy culture.  This year we have created library gardens working with communities to promote environmental understanding and sustainable thinking. Reducing environmental impact has a long way to go but I am proud to be part of one of the original recycling services and I will continue to focus Inspire staff  on making a change.”

Councillor John Cottee, Cabinet Member for Communities at Nottinghamshire County Council, said:

“I’m proud of the ongoing work our library service is doing to have a positive impact on sustainability and environmental issues.

“Our libraries offer an extensive range of items available to loan – allowing residents to reuse rather than buy – and offers excellent adult learning opportunities, family events, space for communities to come together, resources for small business and job seekers and support for our local schools.

“During Green Libraries Week there will be lots of great events on offer across our libraries, so pop in, get involved and have fun as we celebrate the contribution our libraries make to a greener and healthier county.”

More information about our LOGGS project can be found at inspireculture.org.uk/greenlibraries

To find performance dates for The Magical Major Oak: Autumn and the Falling Leaves, please visit inspireculture.org.uk/magicalmajoroak

All information about Libraries Week and scheduled events can be found at inspireculture.org.uk/librariesweek2023

< Back to all news