In 2017, Reading the South explored ways to expand and extend its activities through a ‘research & development’ exercise with library services in East Sussex, West Sussex and Portsmouth City. Findings and recommendations from the activities in 2017 have formed the basis of a proposal for an extended series of Reading the South activities throughout the region in 2018-19.
Graphic artist Zara Slattery leads workshops on local history and creative writing at Worthing Library, West Sussex
Taking as her starting point aspects of local history from the library’s local interest section, Zara has created a number of beautiful illustrations which have inspired workshop participants to write stories and poems about the town’s history. Put together, a series of illustrated story cards have been put on display at Worthing Library, and go to our Anthology blog posts to see two examples of the work.
Portsmouth writer Diana Bretherick explores city archives with reader groups
The theme of ‘My Library My Home’ guided this series of exploratory meetings and workshops in libraries in the City of Portsmouth. The Central Library is home to the city’s considerable archives of local history as well as the famous collections of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Charles Dickens. Author Diana Bretherick explored with library users, including a group of visually impaired city residents, how these wonderful collections might entice local people to utilise their local libraries and encourage them to write about or orally record their own memories of place and sense of identity.
East Sussex libraries combine the ‘old’ with the ‘new’
In East Sussex, author and Reading the South team member Suzanne Joinson explored ideas to bring the county library service’s local history collections to life for local residents using digital technology to inspire creative writing and improve people’s digital skills.