Words and Wonders

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Key Audience

The targeted audience was 0-12 year olds, families and adults.


The key aim of the day was to inspire children, adults and families to engage with creative reading, writing, crafts and storytelling through a range of performance and workshop based activities. The day launched Family Learning Month events in Staffordshire.


Held at the Shugborough estate the events started at 11.15am and continued until 4.30pm. Author Lindsey Davies and scriptwriter for her books, Mary Archer entertained an audience of mostly adults in the Mansion House. Author Andy Cope and the doggy star of his Spy Dog books talked about the Spy Dog series in a marquee in the grounds of the estate for 6-11 year olds. Vibrant story teller Peter Chand cast a magic spell over audiences of all ages as he told stories throughout the day. Children's author and illustrator Steve Smallman had children and parents and grandparents in stitches as they had a quick lesson in illustrating. One parent said that they "had not had so much fun in a long time". Another marquee in the grounds housed creative crafts for under 5s, story telling and baby bounce and rhyme sessions all with a Kipper theme. The lovable dog also made a special visit on the day. The History Wardrobe demonstrated costumes from the Suffragist movement and talked about the literature of the day. Throughout the day families had an opportunity to try their hand at digital photography and take photographs of each other dressed in historical costume. The day also provided an opportunity to showcase the travelling library where books could be borrowed, or requested and the Museum on the Move vehicle.

Qualitative and or Quantitative Evidence of Impact and Evaluation

Those attending the Shugborough Estate on this day with a Staffordshire Library card were able to receive half price entry. 112 people attended with a library membership card.

62 evaluation forms were completed and returned. 82% were very satisfied with the day and 18% were satisfied. Many qualitative comments were collected on the day and after the event. Some comments were:

"A very entertaining day. More breaks between events would have been good as there wasn't enough time to have dinner and look around - perhaps the event could be over 2 days?" "Entertaining and interesting. Helped me learn more about books." "A very enjoyable event - our party of 4 came especially to see the authors." The evaluation forms provided an opportunity to find out what other events people would like in libraries and 32% said that they would like an author visit and 26% said that they would like a stoytelling event. At an evaluation afternoon held after the event it was concluded that the day had been a success but for the future small scale events held in libraries would be the way forward for targetting specific groups to come to libraries.

Who Runs this Project

Staffordshire Library and Information Service


Adult and Community Learning Service, Staffordshire Arts and Museums Services, Shugbrough Estate.

Contact Details

Sue Ball, Service Development Officer Children and Young People. E-mail sue.ball@staffordshire.gov.uk Telephone: 01785 854170.

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