Finishing up at Hastings Library
My time in residence at Hastings Library officially ended on the last day of March, although I've been busy since then putting the finishing touches to a booklet to mark the project, which worked with nine partner organisations to deliver over 40 events, reaching an audience of over 400 and many more people online.
If you haven't seen them already, there are plenty of blog posts in the Hastings section of my website, published over the course of the residency, that might be of interest:
The stories so far: an update from mid-February
Settling in at Hastings Library: one of the initial blog posts
I've constantly been taken aback by the bustling community behind the scenes at the library. The library assistants you see on the desk are just the tip of the iceberg. As well as them (and some, like Paula, have worked for the library service for 36 years or more) there’s a whole community of volunteers (like Jacqui, Tuesday's computer volunteer and the people who run Wednesday's Code Clubs), the managers, area managers and librarians (who work behind the scenes to get the right books in the right places).
The libraries are shaped by the characters of the staff who work there. I went for a meeting at Lewes library and learned that they have a really high DVD rental rate because there’s a staff member there who takes a special interest in curating a good selection. At Eastbourne there’s someone with a particular interest in graphic novels.
Thank you to all the staff at Hastings Library and beyond for their support of this project, you were fantastically welcoming and it's been a privilege to witness the library's move to the new building.
Talking of the community around the library, when, as part of the residency, we organised a reading of an extract from Ovid's Metamorphoses at Hastings Library, a local artist, Danny Mooney, created this image of the volunteer readers on his iPad. Full credit to Danny for capturing the event, particularly when we changed our location in the library, and the order we stood in, several times.