Fun Palaces are coming to Suffolk Libraries

Written by MiriamSpall on Monday, October 2, 2017 - 15:06

Suffolk Libraries will be kicking off National Libraries week by turning several libraries into Fun Palaces this weekend (Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 October).

Fun Palaces are the brainchild of author Stella Duffy who strongly believes that in lots of different ways “everyone is an artist and everyone is a scientist and we are all geniuses”. Each October, community venues hold Fun Palace events to enable everyone to explore their creative and scientific side and also have lots of fun. Events round the country have ranged from something simple such as showing children how to make their own slime to pop-up community choirs.

Suffolk Libraries are joining in with over 300 Fun Palaces across the UK and globally, all set to erupt with free and fun activities, celebrating culture in our community – and everyone is invited! This is the first time Suffolk Libraries have taken part and Stella Duffy herself will be visiting some of the events on Sunday.

Alison Wheeler, Chief Executive of Suffolk Libraries, said: “We’re really excited to be transforming our libraries into Fun Palaces which is a perfect way to kick off National Libraries Week and show the diverse range of activities and experiences which libraries can offer. We’re also particularly grateful to Ipswich Borough Council for their funding for the Ipswich Library events which will also allow us to provide more activities in the future.”

All the events are free and open to anyone

There’s plenty of choice and a huge range of activities available to people of all ages. The list of events is as follows:

Ipswich County Library on Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th, both from 10am to 4.30pm. there will be a series of workshops including: drumming, tribal belly dancing, Spanish (with tapas!), painting with gouache, paper crafts, kurling, board games, Zumba, fitness, giant chess, internet tasters, iPad apps, body percussion, digital fun, basic sewing on machines, patchwork, beading, knitting, science sessions and kids’ radio.

The Ipswich County Library workshops are benefiting from £2,600 of funding from Ipswich Borough Council’s Central Area Committee which was recently awarded to the Friends of Ipswich County Library to help fund the sessions and provide new equipment which can be used for other future activities.

Lowestoft Library are holding an event on Sunday 8 October from 10.30am to 3pm. Activities confirmed so far include the signing choir, who’ll be performing and helping us learn some sign language, some buccaneering reenactors will be sharing tips of the trade, there will be an activity based around the Stirling engine making putt putt boats, and The Longshore Men will be singing sea shanties. There is also much more planned, including the Sea Scouts teaching knot-work and pirate-themed crafts and activities for children.

Saxmundham Library are holding two Fun Palace events – in the library on Saturday 7 October from 11am to 3pm and in the Saxmundham Market Hall on Sunday 8 October from 11am to 4pm.

There will be a range of activities including Origami, having a go at playing a brass instrument, sewing, colouring, shaker-making, arts, crafts, music and chatter sessions and the WI will be serving tea and cake on the Sunday.

Gainsborough Community Library in Ipswich has two Fun Palace events as follows:

Saturday 7 October:

  • 10 – 12 Crafts in the hub with The Methodist Group
  • 12 – 1   Board games & giant Jenga
  • 1 – 3     Table Tennis & Girlguiding activities
  • 2 – 4     Science experiments & astronomy

Sunday 8 October:

  • 11 – 4   Karate taster sessions & personal safety
  • 11 – 1   Lego creations & Minecraft
  • 1 – 3     Cake decorating & colouring activities
  • 2 – 4     Face painting, music & dance.

All weekend Gainsborough Library will also have a memories board, new activities ideas board and will be holding an activity to design and decorate the teen room.

Chantry Library in Ipswich are holding an event on Saturday the 7th from 11am to 4pm with a range of activities including musical instruments, hoverboarding, martial arts, jewellery making, crochet, latch hook rug making, pool, stone painting, giant Jenga, making masks, storytelling, genealogy and Viking re-enactment.

Elmswell Library – on Saturday 7 October from 10.30am to 12.30pm. Have fun and learn new ‘science-y’ and ‘art-y skills’ which so far including knitting, music, dance and golf.


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