Postponed until Saturday 24th July

As part of the Literally Shepton festival, Friends of Shepton Mallet Library are staging a third Love Your Library Day.

The first Love Your Library day, in March 2018, was held at a time when the library was threatened with closure or to be moved from the town centre and its professional staff being replaced by volunteers. Local writers came together to defend the library, raise awareness of its plight and demonstrate their support for the Friends group in its campaign to maintain a fully resourced library in the town centre.

As part of the Literally Shepton festival, Friends of Shepton Mallet Library are staging a third Love Your Library Day.

The first Love Your Library day, in March 2018, was held at a time when the library was threatened with closure or to be moved from the town centre and its professional staff being replaced by volunteers. Local writers came together to defend the library, raise awareness of its plight and demonstrate their support for the Friends group in its campaign to maintain a fully resourced library in the town centre.

By the time of the second Love Your Library Day in March 2019, negotiations with Somerset County Council were on a knife-edge. On this occasion, we were fortunate to engage the services of Jeremy Strong, one of the most popular children’s authors writing today, who as a former resident of Shepton Mallet gave his time freely. We were equally lucky in being able to welcome Barry Cunningham of Frome’s Chicken House Books, universally known in the children’s book world as The Man Who Discovered Harry Potter. Appearing with Barry was Imogen Cooper, founder and managing director of the Golden Egg Academy, Britain’s first industry-led training and mentoring programme for writers of children’s books. Together, they delivered an inspirational session about writing and publishing for children.

The Covid pandemic made it impossible to hold an event last year; but in July 2021, the Friends of Shepton Mallet Library, along with brand new Community Interest Company Seven Starlings, are back in business. This time, they are celebrating the successful outcome of their campaign. Shepton Mallet library is to remain fully resourced by Somerset County Council, and (thanks to generous support from Glastonbury Festival’s Michael Eavis) stay in its current position in the Market Square. What’s more, it has been extensively refurbished to form a community hub for meetings, events and performances.

This third Love Your Library Day will give Shepton Mallet residents and all the library’s many friends from the surrounding communities and further afield a chance to look around the newly remodelled library. It will offer loads of free activities for all ages: advice on writing and self-publishing, activities for children of all ages and a chance to find out more about the plans for the library in the years to come. Fantastic events will include storytelling from Tall Tails Theatre Company and an author visit from The Two Steves, book festival favourites and regular performers at Hay, Cheltenham and Edinburgh who will be appearing together for the first time in nearly four years. The final, not-to-be-missed event of the day will be a chance to meet Jamila Gavin, whose Whitbread/Costa Book of the Year novel Coram Boy has been staged by the National Theatre in London and on Broadway.