Merry Christmas from the whole At the Library team! After a year like no other, we hope you can have a festive and restful time over the Christmas holidays.
Thank you to all the artists, collaborators, library staff and local people who have helped us make At the Library such a meeting point and source of connection. Thank you for your company, creativity, and kindness.
As we round up for the year, we thought we would to take a moment to look back, and reflect on some of our projects and best bits, as well as hear a few thoughts from some of our participants and library staff.
From all of us, keep safe, warm and have a jolly Christmas.
Niamh, Laura, Lesley, Maria, Faye, Clara, Lucy, Greg and all our At the Library friends x
Our monthly Chopping Club is a regular touchstone in our programme for people to come along and collectively prepare and eat a meal together. This year, Chopping Club would not have been possible without our volunteer Vicki — who has played a leading role in shaping our menus and delivering each of our sessions.
Over the year, we’ve made everything from foraged blackberry jam doughnuts to huge indulgent cheese toasties and condiments which will live on in the collective mind (and belly) of our community for years to come.
“Two particular favourites were last Friday’s forage walk and wreath making and the Chopping Club held in September (the one where we had toasted cheese) but last month’s poached pears were equally delicious! Sharing is the added ingredient and makes it special.” — Pauline, At the Library regular
“The ceramic project in Crosby library was a really creative experience, thanks to Aliyah, and where would we be without Arthur’s poetry? All in all, another good year!” – Helen and Lin, At the Library regulars
the kitchen table collective
Through the whole of the Autumn, we’ve been working with artist Aliyah Hussain to create a collective dinner service to serve future community meals.
We’d like to thank everyone who came along to try their hands at ceramics and contributed to making our future feasts extra special. In total, we made over 100 items! Over Christmas, an eclectic and elaborate body of tableware will be fired ready for using in the new year.
Towards the end of the year, artist Niki Colclough invited At the Library participants to join experimental forest bathing walks in Rimrose Country park and the adjoining Leeds-Liverpool canal.
Niki’s future project, unfolding this spring will explore forest bathing as a resource for nature connection and environmental activism.
Look out for an invitation to take part in early Spring!
A poem by Arthur Bowling
At the Library regular and community champion, Arthur, gifted us with this poem to share with you all:
Treasured memories aka life outside the bubble
Picnic at Crosby library tastes of the world abound
Mappers and bloomers
Medals for all be Sefton proud
Welcome to potters barn and the dogggie
Days of summer wine like meeting foggie
Come in, come in — it’s time for the claw play
Tales of yesteryear
We all related in our own way
Blake read by Arthur in our L shaped garden
Fun for all the nation
Foraging and wreaths
Jammy donuts, a taste sensation
Chop, chop — are libraries meant to be steamy
Slap, slap of the clay
B of the bang… life’s got dreamy
Storm Arwen, but we are safe
Weaving, weaving for the lord, mission standing tall
Launch of the blitz trail
Social empowerment for one and all