New storytelling chair aims to inspire people to make the most of libraries

South Shields Central Library storytelling chair. From left artists Wayne Sables and Charlotte Armitage with storyteller Tony Wilson
South Shields Central Library storytelling chair. From left artists Wayne Sables and Charlotte Armitage with storyteller Tony Wilson

A new storytelling project has been unveiled at a South Tyneside library.

Schools and community groups are being invited to try out the new storytelling chair at Central Library, in South Shields.

The storytelling chair is a wonderful new library resource which will help to engage and inspire children in our traditional storytelling sessions.

Coun Alan Kerr

The chair was unveiled at the centre, in Prince Georg Square, this week.

It was created by artists Wayne Stables and Charlotte Armitage, of Bower Hat Creatives and designed to resemble a book, library and an old-fashioned leather armchair, all in one piece of furniture.

It will be used for workshops and storytelling sessions.

Charlotte said: “We have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of the Library Chair project, meeting and working with so many with fantastic groups from South Tyneside.  

“We have been made to feel so welcome and everyone involved has been a such joy to spend time with.

“We have developed both the look of the chair and its usage based on the many ideas, thoughts and creations put forward over the consultation period. We hope many more people will visit and enjoy the Library Chair at the Central Library, and spot it out and about in the borough”

Coun Alan Kerr, deputy leader of South Tyneside Council, with responsibility for culture and leisure, said: “The storytelling chair is a wonderful new library resource which will help to engage and inspire children in our traditional storytelling sessions.

“I am delighted that the creation of this chair has involved many members of the local community, ranging from school children and toddler groups to autistic teenagers and adults with learning difficulties, and now they can see their design contributions made into a reality.

“We are very excited about unveiling the new chair. It is a great addition for people visiting the library.”

Julia Robinson, South Tyneside’s senior librarian, added: “Libraries are about much more than just books and stories. It has been fantastic to see our library groups getting involved with the artists, but the really exciting part will be taking the library chair out into our local community and letting people know about the fantastic library service here in South Tyneside.”

The storytelling chair is just one of the Arts in Libraries Projects that are running until Christmas and forms part of the preparations for the opening of new library The Word, which is set to open in late 2016.