Libraries get ready for Staffordshire Day

LIVE performances, poetry, stories, craft activities and family quizzes are some of the online activities being organised by the county’s libraries for this year’s Staffordshire Day.

With only a day to go until Staffordshire Day (Friday, May1) people are being urged to check out the online activities being organised by their local library.

This year’s event will be online-only, with a series of events live-streamed and broadcast on social media, reflecting the restrictions placed on travel and mass gatherings to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Amongst the events will be a special afternoon of poetry hosted by the Staffordshire Poet Laureate Mel Wardle Woodend on Zoom from 2.15pm to 4pm. People can also join Mel live on Facebook at 2pm for a live reading of her special poem for Staffordshire Day.

Lichfield Poet in residence, Emily Galvin, is also showcasing a series of videos throughout the day.

Families are invited to join the Book Trust’s Pyjamarama campaign, with stories, videos, crafts and quizzes. Families can also take part in a Staffordshire Day quiz and book lovers can vote in the BBC 100 Novels that shaped our World.

An online Facebook Group ‘Staffordshire CreateSpace’ will also be launched with a series of online crafting videos involving local artists and a Q&A. Library events will be available through the Staffs Libraries Facebook and Twitter pages.

Gill Heath, cabinet member for Communities at Staffordshire County Council said:

“We all know what a great county Staffordshire is and what truly amazing people we have here, and this is our chance to tell everyone. It’s our fifth Staffordshire Day but because of Coronavirus all the activities will be online and on social media. “As in previous year’s, our libraries will be taking centre stage with a whole range of amazing online events including stories, crafts, rhyme times, quizzes and much more. “Our 43 libraries may be closed at the moment, but there’s so much available for all the family on the libraries Facebook page and online so make sure you check it out.”.

Mel Wardle Woodend, Staffordshire Poet Laureate said: “As Staffordshire Poet Laureate, I’m really looking forward to Staffordshire Day and sharing my poetry with everyone. “I know this year is going to be different, but there will be loads of things to watch and get involved in online. "I'd urge everyone to join me on Zoom on Friday 1st May with a showcase of spoken word presented by WORD Stafford with poets performing their words from all across Staffordshire. Let's be as creative as we can with poetry, storytelling, flash fiction, and song.”

Last year, over 30,000 people attended Staffordshire Day events, and there were more than 5,700 tweets using #StaffordshireDay, with the hashtag trending nationally for the whole day.

The date, decided by a public vote in 2015, is the anniversary of Josiah Wedgwood setting up his world-famous Staffordshire pottery company in 1759.

For further details on Staffordshire Day events, including a full programme of libraries activities visit: www.enjoystaffordshire.gov.uk/staffordshireday

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