The Reading Agency and Libraries Connected are pleased to announce that Simon Savidge will join the StoryTrails project as the Library Liaison Manager for The Reading Agency and will launch 'Summer of Stories,' a national library campaign on the 1st May.
The campaign will form part of StoryTrails, a unique immersive storytelling experience where untold stories from the past are brought to life using augmented and virtual reality to reanimate public spaces in 15 towns and cities across the UK this summer. Audiences will time-travel via the wonder of these new technologies to experience untold local histories in the place where they happened. StoryTrails is part of UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK, a ground-breaking UK-wide celebration of creativity in 2022.
15 library authorities across the UK and Northern Ireland will host StoryTrails as part of the summer tour and will receive an investment package of £150,000 to support with Covid recovery. The library staff will receive bespoke immersive training from the STEAM organisations partnering on the project including StoryFutures Academy.
Ahead of the live events in the summer, the participating library authorities will work with fifty of the next generation of UK creative talent that have been recruited to help develop and deliver StoryTrails . From 1st July 2022, the tour will visit Omagh, Dundee, Dumfries, Blackpool, Bradford, Sheffield, Lincoln, Wolverhampton, Swansea, Newport, Bristol, Swindon and Slough, before ending in the London Boroughs of Lambeth and Lewisham in September.
Simon Savidge, broadcaster and the book addict behind Savidge Reads, is the project's Library Liaison Manager and hopes that the investment will support libraries to continue to think innovatively about technology and the way we can share stories with communities as they continue to welcome visitors back to branches after the disruption of Covid:
Simon Savidge said: "Libraries have been a huge part of my life since I was three when my mum took me to university with her and she would study and I would get lost in fictional worlds, so to be part of a project like this is incredible. StoryTrails not only combines history and technology in the first way of its kind, it shows that libraries are the heart of the community and an essential place, not just for books and reading which is vital, also for the future with new innovations and experiences. It is also a fun, exciting project that uses the tradition of oral storytelling in a new and exciting way whilst also showing people they belong and are a part of a place, and after the last two years fun and a sense of belonging is something I think we are all looking for."
The package of support for libraries aims to help increase visitor numbers to libraries and bring new audiences into these public spaces, celebrating their position as centres of innovation and storytelling.
Chief Executive, Karen Napier MBE of The Reading Agency said: "We know how vital public libraries are as democratic access points to reading, storytelling and knowledge. This package of support will assist libraries in their role as centres of innovation within communities and we can't wait to see the creative outcomes of this investment and the legacy that the project will leave behind. We are thrilled that Simon Savidge and Libraries Connected are working with The Reading Agency to shine a spotlight on our incredible libraries."
For further details on StoryTrails visit story-trails.com and via Facebook and Instagram @StoryTrailsProject and Twitter @StoryFuturesA