Summer reading project to inspire art

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A project to promote reading for pleasure and making art inspired by books returns to Central Bedfordshire Libraries this summer with Read Me! Awesome Art and Refreshing Reads.

ImagiNation – a Grants for the Arts Funded project for 11-18 year olds – runs until September 5 and is now in its second year after being developed in 2014 by a group of ten library authorities in the east of England, with young people involved in the design and development at every stage.

The aim of ImagiNation is to enjoy reading over the summer and then get creative and the 12 Central Bedfordshire Libraries have a huge supply of exciting books to borrow.

Those taking part will get a log when they join, with activities designed by young people, to help them express their ideas about what they have read, or record how a book made them feel. This could be in the form of drawing, painting, writing, photography, music - anything creative that sparks the imagination.

There is also the chance to be part of a collaborative artwork and to share creative ideas with other young people on a blog at Those who show their log and take part in the collaborative artwork, as well as earning a certificate, collectable lanyard and DVD voucher, will be entered into a prize draw for 10 free recreational swim sessions for the winner and a friend. To join, simply visit your library this summer and ask about ImagiNation.

Central Bedfordshire Councillor Brian Spurr, Executive Member for Community Services, said: “We are delighted to take part in ImagiNation for a second year. Both reading for pleasure and participating in the arts has been shown to boost young people’s future employability, so this is a fantastic project to bring reading and art together in a fun, inspiring way.

“The project also highlights the various ways in which our libraries are moving with the times, to offer a wide range of services beyond the traditional and ensure that they continue to be vital parts of their local communities they serve.”