Farnsfield Library

Published 2nd April 2024

Four women laughing stood in front of an exhibition holding the Little Creatives book.

A team of inspiring library workers are on the shortlist in the 2024 Libraries Connected Awards.

The Libraries Connected Awards celebrate the achievements of library workers who have had an exceptional impact on their library service, users or their local communities. The team from Inspire who deliver culture, learning and libraries, went above and beyond to deliver an innovative early years project which had a lasting impact on participants and the artists involved. When Inspire won Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation funding in 2018, the team developed the Little Creatives programme to help early years children learn new skills and have multi-sensory creative experiences.

 The team worked with five visual artists to develop their arts practice to be appropriate for early years children, programming workshops in 16 libraries, 12 early years settings and 2 community settings. When the Covid-19 pandemic stopped delivery in 2020, they showed great resilience and ingenuity to continue to work with the artists to develop online workshops for families to access from home. 

A Little Creatives book has also been developed and is available in all Inspire libraries and the project includes a report on Inspire’s wider work in the early year sector advocating for the role libraries play in early years development. The report has been shared both in and outside the libraries sector including to health and education partners, at the Libraries Connected conference and shared to the Living Knowledge network though the British Library.

To date Little Creatives has had the following impact: 

  • 292 sessions with 1,347 children and 905 adults. 10 online sessions. 55,000 visitors had the opportunity to see the Little Creatives exhibition.
  • 300 Little Creatives books distributed to sector partners and available to issue from every Inspire Library.
  • 23-26 NPO has now recruited another 5 artists and the team are working with Kent Libraries Playground project to develop the new artists and using the original 5 artists as mentors.

“We are delighted that 4 members of Inspire’s Libraries and Culture team
- Helen Ackroyd, Sarah Baker, Lucie Davis and Lucianna Gallucci have been shortlisted for the Libraries Connected
Children’s Promise Award for their work delivering the Little Creatives Early
Years programme. This external recognition of their hard work, ingenuity
and creativity in developing this activity programme is fully deserved and all
four of them should be very proud of this honour.”

Carol Neman, Director of Culture at Inspire

“Huge congratulations to all the library workers that have made the
shortlist for the Libraries Connected Awards 2024. We received a record number
of nominations this year so it’s a fantastic achievement to have made it this
far. I’m struck by the huge variety of projects and activities on the
shortlist, demonstrating the incredible breadth and creativity of the library
sector. It’s so important that we recognise these achievements, particularly in
such challenging times.”

Isobel Hunter MBE, Chief Executive of Libraries Connected

The winners will be announced on 4 June 2024 at a ceremony at the Libraries Connected annual seminar in Warwickshire.

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