During 2016, Blast Theory and acclaimed author Tony White worked with young people in libraries in Telford and Wrekin, Worcestershire and Staffordshire to reimagine libraries, storytelling and their place in the world. On 29 October 2016, over the course of nine hours from 3pm to midnight, the young people took control of their local libraries, and performed live to a worldwide audience via an interactive live stream.
This book is a result of that process.
A Place Free of Judgement includes a specially commissioned novella by Tony White, for Young Adult (Y.A.) and general readers. “Zombies Ate My Library” follows the lives of four young people in the West Midlands — Alice, Gareth, Tommy and Rukhsana — as they plot a sleepover in a haunted library. What could possibly go wrong?
On Tuesday 21 February 2017, artists, library professionals and education practitioners are invited to find out more about what happened in this extraordinary project, hearing from the artists, librarians and young people who took part. Participants will have an opportunity to explore how learning outcomes from this project might support future collaborations between libraries, library users and artists.
There will be presentations and break-out sessions, a book signing, and Tony White will give a reading from “Zombies Ate My Library”. Set against a backdrop of nationwide library cuts and closures, White’s novella draws on ideas and conversations that emerged during the development of this innovative project.
Tony White said:
“A Place Free Of Judgement was a truly innovative arts project that used art, writing, performance and cutting edge technology in new ways to reach new audiences, and made great demands of the libraries and the young people who took part. It was really inspiring and moving to see how everyone rose to the challenge, and to watch as incredible stories and moments continually unfolded during the live broadcast. At a time when so many libraries are being closed down all over the country, A Place Free of Judgement and the book we are launching today are also an opportunity to remind ourselves of the vital role libraries and librarians play in the communities they serve, and for us to express our friendship and support for them.”
Date: Tuesday 21 February 2017
Time: 11am – 4pm
Venue: Southwater Library, Southwater Square, Telford TF3 4JG