What is Suffolk Libraries Day?
In October 2019, Suffolk Libraries held its first ever mass celebration of the county’s library service by holding the inaugural Suffolk Libraries Day. The events held in libraries, and the preceding countywide Book Journey, were a massive success in raising awareness of the huge role libraries in play in Suffolk life.
Reflecting on Suffolk Libraries Day 2019, the range of activities and creative ideas staff and volunteers pulled off was astounding. Readathons, cake sales, author events, magicians, treasure hunts, guided walks, half marathons and a choir on the Cornhill singing in the rain all helped to entice an extra 4,000 visitors to the county’s libraries and raise £16,400 in much needed funds.
Suffolk Libraries Day was preceded by a week-long Book Journey involving the fantastic and imaginative support from local businesses, individuals and groups, who helped to transport a book 323 miles via all 44 libraries. There were fancy dress runners, cyclists, a rickshaw, a Penny Farthing, classic sports cars and Batman and Robin on a tandem. There was also the small matter of a unicorn and rider for the Glemsford to Bury St Edmunds leg that required a risk assessment!
The global Covid pandemic has challenged libraries to quickly adapt to meet the needs of local communities. Although library buildings had to close for over 100 days during lockdown, Suffolk Libraries and its staff quickly found ways to reach out to people. Library staff embraced social media, live streaming online activities which have been enjoyed tens of thousands of times. Suffolk Libraries also set up a new Lifeline service to tackle social isolation of older customers.
Suffolk Libraries Day 2021
Which brings us to Suffolk Libraries Day 2021. What we do will need to be significantly different, but still celebrate the library service, promote our work in communities and generate some much-needed income.
For Suffolk Libraries Day 2021 we will not be asking libraries to plan and hold events in their libraries on March 20. Instead, the focus will be on activities that will inspire people across Suffolk to get involved in celebrating Suffolk Libraries in their own homes. We are already busy planning what might take place, but ideas so far include:
- A countywide literary themed Suffolk scarecrow trail
- An online book festival with top authors from around the globe
- The biggest online quiz ever seen in Suffolk
- Various online auctions of donated goods
The Book Journey has been rejigged to make it Covid secure and will now be Oona’s Suffolk Adventure!
Oona, the Suffolk Libraries mascot, will travel around the county visiting all 44 libraries in the week leading up to Suffolk Libraries Day. Her journey will begin in Brandon and finish in Lowestoft and she hopes to meet as many customers on her travels as is safe to do so.
Further details about the activities. celebrations and how you can get involved will be published over the coming months. If you would like to be involved, have any ideas for activities or would like to hold a wacky fundraising event for Suffolk Libraries Day, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If we can risk assess a unicorn, we can risk assess anything!
Thank you for your ongoing support of our county library service. If you'd like to make a contribution to our efforts, please consider donating to us in any way that you are able.