Library groups including CILIP and The Reading Agency are supporting an initiative to promote Shakespeare to children aged five to 11 in public libraries.
Shakespeare Week 2015 – Celebrate in Libraries (16th-22nd March) was organised by the charity The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and funded by an Arts Council grant. The trust will encourage libraries to host events such as mask making, designing costumes and sets, or writing plays, and has made a short film, based on the life of young Shakespeare, which will be shown exclusively in libraries.
Organisations supporting the initiative are The Reading Agency, which is creating a Shakespeare-themed pack for its Chatterbooks reading groups, as well as the Association of Senior Children’s and Education Librarians (ASCEL), the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Services (CILIP) and The Society of Chief Librarians (SCL),
Ciara Eastell, SCL president, said: “Public libraries are in the unique position of being free, central to their community, and holding millions of volumes of materials for inspiration, research and study. Libraries inspire people to learn more about what interests them and we are thrilled to be promoting Shakespeare Week to our customers. I hope library services will work with local arts and cultural groups to make Shakespeare Week 2015 really special.”
An interactive map showing where events are taking place is available on the Shakespeare Week website.
The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust launched Shakespeare Week in 2014 to promote the playwright in schools. As well as the library promotions, the charity also provides material for schools, and expects more than one million children to take part in the celebrations this year.
It will also promote Shakespeare on social media using the twitter account @ShakespeareWeek and the tag #ShakespeareWeek.
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