Libraries in Lancashire put under the spotlight

Half A String Theatre, A Heart At Sea
Half A String Theatre, A Heart At Sea
Share this article

Libraries in Lancashire are dusting off their books and dazzling visitors with theatre productions, open mic and gin nights and murder mysteries.

Recovering from the threat of closures librarians throughout the county have been on a mission to reinvigorate their spaces as central community hubs.

Just this week a theatre company visited three libraries across Lancashire, in Longton, Leyland and Morecambe, telling the story of an epic musical folktale.

Library manager at Clayton Green Library Janet Hilton said: “We’ve been actively working towards how to engage with the community on a greater level.

“I think the possibility of closures has galvanized librarians into thinking differently.

“We have to get the message out there that libraries are not just about books and computers.”

Half A String Theatre, “A Heart At Sea” used haunting live music to tell the story of a young Boy who bottles up his heart and throws it into the sea.

Spot On Lancashire’s Lyndsey Wilson said: “It’s about encouraging libraries to be seen as cultural hubs.

“It’s helping to develop the skills of the library managers, helping them to work with professional artists to be able to build their confidence to market and host the shows within the space.

“What it has done is bring a huge new audience to the libraries because they are not just about books, they are about engaging young people in cultural experiences.

“The production A Heart At Sea completely changed the feel of the libraries where it was performed, they became black box theatre spaces.”

Meanwhile the Friends of Adlington library launched a year of activities to raise enough money to save the space. Alongside librarians they held children’s yoga and a murder mystery evening.

Elsewhere the Friends of Chorley Library group have started regular open mic and gin evenings and they are also hosting comedian James Meehan who will perform his show As If I Hadn’t Slept on Wednesday, November 8 at 7pm.