Over 10% of UK libraries are currently under threat. Library closures and cutbacks are a serious problem. More than 400 libraries have closed in Britain in the last five years due to budget cuts, technology and the internet age. Due to this, I decided I wanted to give back to the community and help to save our libraries by doing free Story Times for the children.
Music Audio Stories have taken part in many community events in the past, but have
only once visited a library with Story Time! Adie and I visited Swiss
Cottage, West Hampstead and Acton Town Hall Libraries in the last Half Term holiday and they were all a success!
I often pop into libraries to leave flyers for parents to pick up,
so I had already been to all of these libraries several times. The
thought first occurred to me as I was chatting to a group of parents at
one of the libraries. They asked me about Music Audio Stories and I
explained that I visit lots of schools and nurseries with our audio
books doing Story Time. Then I had that light bulb moment! I found a way I could help!
I managed to get all of the library events listed on many websites
from Netmums and West London Mum to Whats on London, All in London, The
List Magazine and others. It was exciting to see our name in their
listings as the hosts!
No! I was wrong!
When Adie and I turned up at 2.30pm to set up, it was buzzing in the
library and around 40 children took part. My extensive experience means,
I've got these kinds of numbers covered and I had their attention from
the get go. I was in the zone. Storytelling zone! It was brilliant and
both the children and their parents enjoyed the session.
Our Story Time took place in their children's library which is a
great space for this kind of activity. We set up our small table and
gathered everyone into a circle to begin. The group of children at this
library were younger than the group we had at Swiss Cottage but the
great thing about our Story Time is that it can be adapted to suit the
age range of any group.
It was a lovely group of children and parents and they enjoyed all of
our activities. Most of the children wanted to take their drawings home
but we did manage to collect one or two drawings from this library
which you can see in our Kids Corner.
A slightly smaller
group than the other libraries, the children enjoyed listening to our
audio book Litter Bugs. We chose this story because it has been one of
the most popular stories in the schools and nurseries. It's a great way
to teach an excellent lesson in such a fun and simple way that children
don’t even realize they are learning a lesson! Plus they absolutely love
throwing the "rubbish" in the bin during The Bug Club's song at the
I enjoyed Story Time with the children so much. Due to the
success of our Story Time and great feedback from the parents, we have
been invited back! We'll definitely be visiting these libraries again
later on in the year with another one of our Music Audio Stories.
But for now, time to switch gears and focus on writing and creating more audio books!