Canal walks and readings

All biological life – animals, plants, fungi, bacteria, and other single-celled organisms – depends on the existence of water. We are intimately linked to water, with our own bodies being 70% water.

MODERN NATURE

An arts programme for Rimrose Valley. A collaboration between Human Libraries, Rimrose Valley Friends and Artist Niki Colclough and shaped by young people of Sefton. Everyone is welcome and everything is FREE.

Chamomile Circle

Chamomile Circle is a playgroup session where we explore plants and growing together with songs, stories and play for the little ones – and something for the grown ups as well.

forest bathing for rest and resilience

Rimrose Valley is a rare and much-loved natural resource in the middle of an otherwise built up, post-industrial area. Niki Colclough is a Manchester based artist and cultural educator, whose practice concerns ecological empathy, and ways of connecting to nature. Over four Fridays in March, you are invited to join us on a series of walks and encounters in the Valley, exploring how this process can help us build resilient, heathy communities.

Mindful movement

Yoga instructor Katy Gilmour invites you to be gently guided through a nourishing embodied practice, exploring, breath, movement and meditation.

The Kitchen table collective: dinner service

The Kitchen Table Collective is back! Leading on from the first stage of our Kitchen Table Collective project, during which 30 participants made hundreds of ceramic objects that we might find in the kitchen, we’re taking inspiration from Aliyah Hussain’s “Dinner Service” artwork for our latest ceramics-making project.

The L-Shaped Garden

We’re making a garden for Bootle Library.  Would you like to get involved?

Chopping Club

Lunches, cooked and eaten together in the library, have always been an important part of our programme.  Growing from one of our first projects by artists Fairland Collective, these lunches are communally prepared and cooked in one pot, always in the library itself. Everyone chops, so everyone has made lunch for everyone else. One pot has been known to produce three courses, or a feast for 80 people, though we often just make soup.

Stitch Club

We have invited textiles artist and sustainable fashion designer Emma Summerscale to develop a new project around thrift, sustainability and mending.

Remedies for Resistance

Do we know how to care for ourselves and each other? What is collective care? How do we practice collective care within our communities? Do we have medical knowledge? Do we have our own remedies? Have these passed along through family, kinship or through networks? How do we know or find about them? Who do we share them with and how?

Soft Sanctuary Season

Soft Sanctuary is a project which artist Bella Milroy first developed for Human Libraries back in 2019 as a series of events at Bootle Library. The project centres disabled experiences through a universal concept of finding care and wellbeing, and celebrates the sanctuary nature of the library as a place to relax, feel safe and looked after. It has since developed into a programme of live events, written essays, recipes, film and podcasts. Exclusively featuring disabled artists, Soft Sanctuary explores the ceremonies of everyday life, and the disabled practices which offer us joy, ease and rest. 

Digital Workshop sheets

With local lockdowns and restrictions making it hard for us to be together, we know it can feel a little bit isolating lately, especially if you aren’t used to using technology. The Human Libraries Team has created a weekly series of step-by-step digital workshop sheets to help you understand how to use digital devices and stay connected with people. 

The Kitchen Table Collective

The Kitchen Table Collective is a collaborative ceramics project led by artist Aliyah Hussain. 

Freshly Cut Grass

Escape from it all for a little while and come on a journey through nature —without leaving the house. Artist Frances Disley has designed a series of online resources to help you escape the stresses and strains of everyday life by going on your own guided imaginary journey. The resources are designed to be used whenever and wherever best suits you.

Bootle Mappers – A Green Treasure Hunt

‘Maps are only an excuse for the journey they set us on.’

Human Library Voices

An ongoing programme of podcasts for the Human Library. Working with people from the area we want to tell the story of the Humans of Bootle. Podcasts have been recorded and developed through podcasting workshops, talks and listening sessions at the library.

Pool Our Resources

Pool our Resources looked at how we are reintroducing elements of craft, thrift and upcycling back into our everyday lives. It was a celebration of the strength and depth of collective knowledge, a reminder of the importance of our social spaces, and the positive effect of skill-sharing on health and wellbeing.

Blue Mondays

The third Monday in January is commonly thought of as the most depressing day of the year, but we do our best not to succumb to winter gloom by inviting artists to host a day of shared creativity and food to warm hearts and fill stomachs.

What skills do you have, what skills do you need?

People’s Bureau ran a monthly skills exchange open to anyone who wanted to offer their talents, ideas and skills to further our collective learning. The skills were defined by what the local community wanted and needed. 

RRR

Frances Disley led a series of workshops exploring ways to unwind and relax using guided visualisations. Inspired by mindfulness practices, participants designed their own relaxing meditations using a combination of the familiar and imagined. 

Plant Party

Plant Party was a programme of workshops inviting people to exchange ideas and horticultural experience and look after the plants in the library. Everyone was encouraged to take cuttings, grow their own plants and bring in seeds, looking after our own mental health as much as looking after the plants.  The plants in the library are still cared for by Plant Party volunteers.

Soft Sanctuary

We invited artist Bella Milroy to design a programme of workshops throughout Autumn 2019. The project celebrated the sanctuary nature of the library as a place to relax, feel safe and looked after: cosy duvet-day vibes with a morning workshop, free meal and accompanying mental-health colouring book.

One Pot Project

One Pot Project was a series of community meals, organised by Fairland Collective. Prepared using a single induction hob and only one pot, the making of the meal was a collaborative task.

Workshops

Throughout the year we offer a range of artist-led workshops that might include creative practices from sketching through to weaving, printmaking, photography, hydroponics or ceramics.  We take a “learning together” approach so all sessions are suitable for every level of skill, talent or experience. We even take requests – so if there is something that you have always wanted to try we’ll do our best to find an artist who can lead a taster session. 

Bootle Press

Artist Sumuyya Khader led a series of Risograph workshops, exploring the possibilities of this fast, beautiful and simple method of printmaking, and working towards producing collaborative print works, using some of the materials gathered by the Human Library thus far.

Press Room

Throughout March 2019, participants of Press Room, a project by Ciara Phillips, made a day-by-day record of press coverage leading up to 29th March 2019, the date set for Britain to exit Europe.