Step into a story at Redbridge Libraries for National Storytelling Week

Mick Ferris

It’s National Storytelling Week and what better way to get involved than heading to your nearest library to explore the array of books bursting with tales just waiting to be shared.

Redbridge residents will be left spoilt for choice with access to more than half a million items from across the borough’s 12 libraries offering books, including audio and digital, as well as online newspapers and magazines, DVDs and film streaming.

Redbridge is also a founding member of the Libraries Consortium spanning 21 councils across London, Beds, Essex and Surrey, enabling Redbridge residents to take advantage of a further 8 million books and other items, and access to services and facilities from over 380 libraries across London and the south east.

With such phenomenal access to books and services it’s easy to see why Redbridge Libraries are among the top five busiest library services in London, and issues the most children’s books across the capital.

Deputy leader of Redbridge Council and Redbridge Cabinet Member for Finance, Leisure and Culture, Cllr Kam Rai, said: “With a range of exciting story-time sessions taking place across Redbridge to celebrate National Storytelling Week, there has never been a better time to see what your local library has on offer and introduce children to the wonderful world of reading.

“While libraries across the country have had to close their doors due to government funding cuts, we are so proud to not only have kept the doors of Redbridge’s 12 libraries open, but also invested in and upgraded them. And it doesn’t stop there; through our partnership with a range of other councils, local people from Redbridge now have access to more than 8 million books and items from more than 380 libraries across London and the south east.”

Redbridge Libraries widely recognised pioneering community work also led to it being one of the first in London to create a ‘makerspace’ – a dedicated space enabling people to meet, learn, create and innovate whilst trying out a range of ‘tech’ activities including 3D printing, coding, robotics and virtual reality.

Libraries in the borough also provide great opportunities for volunteers such as 16-year-old Marnie who gave up some of her time last year to support Wanstead Library.

The teenager said: “I became a volunteer as I had great memories from taking part in the reading challenge as a child, and I wanted to be involved again, but as a volunteer. I have been lucky enough to support at least 40 children throughout the challenge. It’s great to see children developing their reading skills and confidence levels through positive feedback and encouragement.”

The leader of Redbridge Council, Cllr Jas Athwal said: “Reading is key to children’s development and this National Storytelling Week we couldn’t be prouder of the range of storytelling sessions on offer here in Redbridge offering local families the chance to get their children immersed in the joys of reading.

“With Redbridge lending out the largest number of children’s books of any London borough, we know that we already have a lot of keen young readers, but whether your children are new to reading or confident readers, there are storytelling and activity sessions to suit every budding reader.”

Head down with the little ones for these exciting events for National Storytelling Week:

If you are not already signed up to Redbridge Libraries, it’s easy to join, just complete the online form. Members can borrow up to twenty library books and access all of the services available at their local library as well as online services via the Virtual Library.

A home library service is also in operation offering home delivery and collection for residents unable to leave their home due to illness, disability or caring responsibilities.

Find out more about Redbridge Libraries on


Mick Ferris

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