Posted on behalf of Vicky Price, Special Collections Education Coordinator.
With most people in summer holiday mode, it has been a quiet few weeks for myself and Helen at SCAR but we’ve managed to keep ourselves busy: collecting statistics, tying up loose ends from past projects and putting plans in place for next year.
As I’ve also been taking stock of where we are with the Outreach Programme and where we want to get to in the forthcoming year, I thought it would be a good time to give an update on where we’re headed, and share some of the programme’s highlights. If you attended the session Sarah Aitchison and I gave at July’s Library Conference, you’ll already know about some of our plans. But for those of you to whom SCAR’s outreach work is still shrouded in mystery … let me elucidate!
Collaborate, collaborate, collaborate
We’ve been building strong relationships with some exciting partners. As a result, larger, more ambitious projects are on the horizon (and growing steadily closer):
Edith Neville Primary School and Museum of London Archaeology
We are creating a special year-long project to create a time capsule to be buried on the school’s brand new site. The photographs below shows a ‘memory tree’ that some of the school’s parents made (thank you Maryam and Joygun!) so that parents, staff and pupils could start to collate favourite memories of their current school building at their summer fair.
Newham Library and Archives
We are creating a special mobile exhibition that will tour all 10 of the borough’s public libraries, and we’ll be delivering a programme of family and specialist group workshops alongside. What is most exciting is that the exhibition will marry items featured in the Main Library exhibition East Side Stories: Londoners in transition with Newham Archive items to create one narrative. We’ll also be collecting local people’s oral histories at the workshops (accessioned and made publicly available through UCL SCAR).
Camden Adult Education
We have run several art workshops for a group of adults who meet to colour in while combating social isolation and loneliness (with colouring in sheets derived from our collection of manuscripts!). Next up for next year are colouring in activities using wood block prints from some of our early rare books. Just one step closer to kickstarting the all-SCAR colouring in book of my dreams…
We are also developing a ‘Spotlight on…’ series for Secondary schools: finding collection items that relate to curriculum subject areas to develop deeper knowledge and contextual understanding. First on the list are Dickens’ London and Shakespeare in theatres of the time.
Systems, Processes and Training
We’ve taken the time to refashion some procedures, and will have a new, easier system for all of Library Services to report their outreach statistics (lead by Bernard Scaife). We will send around a spreadsheet once a term that will just require some simple information inputting before sending it back – hopefully the annual statistics-fest (as I hopefully call it) will be a lot smoother this time next year!
It has also been a pleasure to deliver some bitesize training within UCL Library Services on various aspects of delivering outreach. I hope to continue and develop this next year, starting with tours of SCAR and the spaces we use on campus… so keep your eyes peeled for an invitation if you’re interested!
We can’t wait for next year and all the projects it will bring. I’ll be sure to share stories, photographs and outcomes from workshops like ‘Mystery Archives’ with 5 to 11 year olds or ‘Local Heroes Top Trumps’ with families when I can!