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Libraries Week to showcase wellbeing


Gloucestershire Libraries are celebrating with special events all week between 8 - 13 October.

This October, our county’s libraries will be showcasing how they bring communities together, combat loneliness, provide a space for reading and creativity as well as support people of all ages with their health and wellbeing.

There will be a host of exciting events and activities on offer, from circus theatre performances to community fun days and everything in between!

A highlight will be ‘Plink and Boo’ by Can’t Sit Still Theatre, a circus performance which tackles stereotypical gender identities taking place at Matson Library on 10 and 11 October.

Gloucester Library has a bumper day of activities on Thursday 11 October with Share a Poem group, Knit and Natter group at 2pm and a storytime at 10am. Tuffley Library is having talks by a qualified counsellor about anxiety; wellbeing and menopause. Tetbury Library is inviting people to ‘yarn bomb’ the building!

Cllr Dave Norman, cabinet member for libraries, said, “Libraries Week is the annual showcase of the best that UK libraries of all kinds have to offer, encouraging everyone to discover their library on the second week of October. We know that our libraries provide a central hub in their community, so it’s an opportunity to see and do something new near you.”

Jane Everiss, head of Libraries and Registration Services, said, “This year our focus is on health and wellbeing and how libraries can bring people together. It’s not just about self help books, being part of a group and meeting new people in a warm and welcoming space can work wonders for someone feeling alone. Everyone is welcome and the library is free to join.”

Full events listings can be found online at Eventbrite:

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More about Libraries week:

Over half the UK population has a library card and nearly 10 million are active borrowers. Libraries Week takes place between the 8 –13 October to celebrate the nation’s much-loved libraries. In 2018, with a focus on wellbeing, libraries across the country will showcase how they bring communities together, combat loneliness, provide a space for reading and creativity and support people with their mental health. @librariesweek  #librariesweek

Reading Passport:

The new online South West Reading Passport will be launched during the week packed full of great reading ideas with an app for you to personalise your reading preferences.

David Vaisey Prize 2018

We will also be announcing the winner of the David Vaisey Prize 2018 for outstanding Gloucestershire Libraries initiatives, awarded by Michael Morpurgo at Cheltenham Literature Festival on 7 October. The winner will win £5,000 and runners-up will receive £1,000 to spend in their libraries. The prize has been judged by, Edward Gillespie, Jamila Gavin, Trevor Lee, Rachel Joyce and Marianne Hinton.

Win tickets to see Matt Haig with our Libraries competitions!

Enter our two Libraries Week prize-winning competitions to win tickets to see Matt Haig and a book token. Books can make us laugh, cry or bring us comfort in our darkest moments. Tell us about a book which has helped you through a difficult time or lifted your mood by emailing a short review (up to 50 words) of your book to by Friday 5 October.

Here are some of the events taking place:

  • Charlton Kings Library will be hosting Melody Mamas, a child friendly adult choir, on Monday 8 October 1-2pm.
  • At Prestbury Library we have an Introduction to Mindfulness for Wellbeing session 10.30-11.30 on Tuesday 9 October. 
  • Tewkesbury Library is hosting a real live poet at their Share a Poem event on 9 October after the reading, participants will be encouraged to write their own verse.
  • ‘Plink and Boo’ by Can’t Sit Still Theatre at Matson Library, 10 &11 October, more info at
  • Community Fun Day at Cheltenham Library on 13 October, with a visiting fire engine. Cheltenham Library is also part of the Monster Story Trail 5th -14 Oct – solve the clues as part of Cheltenham Literature Festival.
  • Dursley Library have a fun Bookstart Bear Trail running thought the week with 9 small bears hidden round the town for families to follow clues and find to get a small prize!
  • Coleford Library Toy Story sleepover – leave your toy in the library overnight on 12 October and collect the next day and see an animated film of the mischief your toy got up to in the library!
  • Lydney Library have organised a Jumperee Storytime and craft session on 13 October at 11am.
  • Churchdown Community Choir will be performing and bringing the joy of singing into Churchdown Library on Saturday 13 October at 10.30am


Case Study – Colin and the Crochet Club

Many people come together with their community to feel good in the library and go away with an experience they want to share with others.

Colin, an elderly gentleman, appeared on a Tuesday afternoon to attend our regular Crochet Club. He had never crocheted before but was keen to find something with which to occupy himself and stop him (as he called it) ‘brooding’. Colin’s wife, who has advanced dementia, had recently left their marital home of many decades to live in a residential setting. Colin was involved in her care and was missing her greatly, and had been diagnosed with depression. It was heartening to see how the other members of the crochet group embraced Colin’s needs and patiently showed him their skills. He was conscious of being the only man in the group and said it had taken him a lot of courage to attend but such was his longing to get out of the house and feel a sense of belonging. He attends every week and his crochet skills are improving fast and even crochets at home.

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