Libraries hit a high note


North Yorkshire County Council and North Yorkshire Music Action Zone win 2012 CILIP Libraries Change Lives Award.

CDE Group LogoJudges for the 21st CILIP Libraries Change Lives Award have rewarded staff at North Yorkshire County Council and North Yorkshire Music Action Zone for showing the powerful and positive impact that libraries have on their communities.

The ceremony, organised annually by The Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, took place this year at the House of Commons, where Culture Minister, Ed Vaizey presented the winners with their trophy and a cheque for £4000.

In a year marred with drastic cuts and uncertainty for the sector, the Libraries Change Lives Award has become more even more important in recognising outstanding library-based initiatives enriching lives and strengthening communities.

Whether through outreach work with local dementia patients, creating a supportive environment for teenagers to develop their skills or encouraging neighbours to share and learn from each other, all three of this year’s shortlisted projects do just that.

The winner, ‘Library Songwriters: Skipton Rewind Club’ offers teenagers the chance to meet with library staff and a youth worker to develop their song writing skills, using the library as a cultural centre. However, with hard work and dedication from all of those involved, it has done much more than that. The project has encouraged continued engagement with the public library, curbing the decline that usually occurs when children enter secondary education.

But song writing and library use is only part of the story. Skipton Rewind Club provides youngsters with a safe space to build their confidence and friendships and through developing and delivering their own events, the teenagers learn vital transferable skills that will help them in an increasingly competitive jobs market.

As a reward for all of their hard work, CILIP even arranged for the teenagers to perform at the Houses of Parliament for MPs and ceremony guests. Fittingly, they performed a song written especially for the occasion.

Linda Constable, Chair of Judges, CILIP Libraries Change Lives Award tells:

“In the wake of last year’s riots today’s teenagers have received so much negative press.  Today, we would like to celebrate teenagers. Here we have an inspired project with dedicated library staff working with some engaged and enthusiastic youngsters to learn vital life skills whilst doing something that they love. This project shows what teenagers can do when encouraged, not criticised. It also highlights the continued importance of committed and highly-skilled librarians who are often unsung heroes in our communities.”

On winning the award, which comes with a £4,000 cash prize, County Councillor Chris Metcalfe, Executive Member for Library and Information Services said:

“This is a fantastic achievement for Skipton Rewind Club, and for the library, youth service, and music service staff who have worked so hard to make it such a huge success.

As well as fully justifying the Award's philosophy that Libraries Change Lives, this also demonstrates that public library services remain committed to providing the very best and most inspirational resource for the people they serve, despite the difficult decisions that they have been forced to make as a result of the austere economic environment.”  

CILIP Chief Executive, Annie Mauger said:

“Despite all of the pressures they face, public libraries are still doing some fantastically innovative work for their communities and forming real, powerful partnerships. These awards have proved, again, the power of libraries and librarians to shape and transform lives. Congratulations to Skipton Rewind Club, the other shortlisted projects and to all those library staff across the UK who are proving on a daily basis that libraries and librarians can and really do change lives.”


Press contact:

Aaron Hussey
Communications and Campaigns Manager, CILIP
Tel: 020 7255 0653

Notes to editors:

1. Videos about each of the shortlisted projects are available at or on Youtube at  

2. CILIP: the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals is the leading professional body for librarians, information specialists and knowledge managers. CILIP’s vision is a fair and economically prosperous society underpinned by literacy, access to information and the transfer of knowledge. CILIP is a registered charity, no. 313014. Visit for more information.

3: The three shortlisted projects were:

Reminiscence Collection

(Norfolk Library and Information Service and Norfolk Museum & Archaeology Service)

Since 2007 the Norfolk Library and Information Service and Norfolk Museum and Archaeology Service have worked closely with a local hospital on creating their Reminiscence Kits. These are a collection of objects, photographs, music and scents to stimulate the senses and remind those suffering with dementia of the things that have happened throughout their lives. The Reminiscence Kits, available to loan through the library service, have enabled meaningful exchanges to take place between those with dementia and their loved ones.

Library Songwriters: Skipton Rewind Club

(North Yorkshire County Council & North Yorkshire Youth Music Action Zone)

This project offers teenagers the chance to meet with library staff and a youth worker to develop their songwriting skills. It also works to encourage  those 11+ to continue to engage with the public library, curbing the decline that usually occurs when children enter secondary education. Originally planned as a 10 week course, the project has now been running for over 18 months. Skipton Rewind Club has helped provide the youngsters not only with a safe space, but confidence, friendship and transferable skills that have come from planning and hosting their very own events.

The Digital Bazaar

(Lambeth Libraries and Archives)

One Saturday morning each month, the community around Tate South Lambeth Library join their local library team to explore all things digital - the internet, computers, mobile phones, digital cameras, iPads, e-readers etc.  Experienced users learn about new devices and programmes alongside beginners who are using the internet for the first time. As well as stressing the importance of neighbourly sharing, this free event showcases the role of the library service as a major national digital resource. After the successful Lambeth pilot, other local authorities are keen to introduce the Digital Bazaar in their libraries.

Last modified on: 26/06/2012 05:01 PM