By Emma Tennant, Libraries Development Officer – Stockton Borough Libraries
With inspiration from past shakers and makers of Stockton, including furniture maker Thomas Sheraton, inventor John Walker, film director Maurice Elvey and sculptor Margaret Wrightson, we’re calling out to the people of the Borough to come forth with their creative knowledge, skills and expertise to join our Common Library.
Our hack the library event on Saturday 21st March (Shakers and Makers, Stockton Central Library 10am-2pm) aims to better connect us with our creative communities – ultimately, to bring people together in libraries and other venues to contribute to and benefit from inspiring knowledge sharing experiences.
We have a great tradition of making and inventing in our region and we want to help this to continue by providing spaces and opportunities for people to meet and make. Whether it’s coding and digital creations or traditional crafts like wood turning, pottery or knitting, we’re open to suggestions and look forward to finding out what people are interested in.
As Libraries Development Officer, I warmly welcome the opportunity to take knowledge and information sharing to a whole new level, expanding on the craft groups who already meet in libraries in the Borough to embrace the creative imaginations of the people living in Stockton as well as to connect with other venues such as Preston Hall Museum where they have a range of facilities including a working forge and printing press. Going forward, I hope to see a programme of community-initiated workshops and experiences for people to get involved in across the Borough.
We are fortunate to have been able to refurbish a number of our libraries and have been able to create modern, open and flexible spaces that lend themselves to people coming together. Stockton Central Library, the venue for our Shakers and Makers event, is our largest library and serves a diverse community who live within central Stockton.
We’ll be taking over the whole of the library for our event and are expecting a busy and lively kind of day, especially as coinciding activities to launch our redeveloped high street will attract many people to the centre of town. We hope we’ll also see you there!