Case Study: Norfolk Library and Information Service

Case Study: Norfolk Library and Information Service

Picture of Alan Lynch

BY: Alan Lynch
05 Sep 2018

The Norfolk & Norwich Millennium Library is the busiest public library in the country, and offers resources and facilities to support the learning and reading needs of people of all ages and abilities. It is located in The Forum, a public building that includes cinema screens and performance and exhibition spaces –and also houses BBC East.

The group consisted of 7 young people aged between 11 and 15, 4 boys and 3 girls. Four of the young people are home educated.Norfolk Library and Information Service Pic 1


The project that the young people worked on was Our Norfolk Story. The group researched and developed a film based on Norwich's 900 year old market, which sits at the centre of the city, and worked with film professionals to make a film focused on an aspect of their local history. The project was promoted through Twitter and Facebook, and through the libraries usual routes such as posters and eshots to schools.

For Part A, taking part, the group conducted interviews with current day market holders, used the Libraries Heritage resources, including rare papers and specimens in the environmentally controlled area of the library. They made a special visit to the Norfolk Record Office where they were able to handle more precious documents archiving the market's history.Norfolk Library and Information Service Pic 3

Based on their research, the group developed an animated film with three professional animators over an intensive four day period.

For Part B, arts event, the film makers chose a selection of on-line animations to show together to the group. The young people discussed the films together and drew inspiration for their own work.

Each young person chose their own artist for Part C, arts inspiration, with some choosing well known people and others local artists, including one they had met through the project. This part of Bronze was done independently by the young people, working at home.

The group's final film is called '900 Years of Market Madness' and follows the capers of Norman the Norman as he experiences the market through the ages with the aid of a special pair of time travelling shorts that are activated whenever he dances...

Norfolk Library and Information Service Pic 2The films were screened in the Fusion Cinema at The Forum, where the animation was viewed by 431 people over its 6 day screening.

On the final day of the screening, the young animators were joined by friends, family, local dignitaries and the Heritage Lottery Fund whose grant made this project possible, for a special screening. After the screening the young people shared the skills they had used to create the animation with the audience, completing Part D, arts skills share. The animations then went on a county wide tour of larger libraries.

The process was documented throughout on a special edublog: as well as in the individual portfolios. To make sure all the evidence had been collected and labelled the library organised a final portfolio workshop at the end of the project


The young people had joined the project with an interest in animation and developed these skills further, whilst also learning a huge amount about teamwork and patience while making the stop motion animation, which is a very slow process. They also developed their drawing skills while creating their film.Norfolk Library and Information Service Pic 4

`The project brought new audiences into the library and The Forum: the young people and their friends and families came to see the films, many of whom had not visited the library before.’ Ruth MacDougall, Arts Award adviser

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