Towards the end of last year, DCMS Libraries Team joined up with the Ceremonials Team to consider how to involve libraries in their plans to mark Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee.
Instead of doing things in isolation, we pitched the idea of joining together to Libraries Connected, Arts Council England (ACE), The British Library, BBC, BFI, The Reading Agency, The National Archives and the Local Government Association to see if we could collectively make the most out of individual plans to ensure that libraries received plenty of support and were aware of the many exciting opportunities there were to take part in the Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
All stakeholders were very keen on the idea and soon discovered that there was a lot of cross over and potential to support each other. For DCMS this was a chance to get a really good overview of the different events taking place, and more importantly, how we could encourage libraries to make plans and help bring celebrations to every community. For each of the partners involved, they made connections that would help them to promote their own events and to offer advice to each other. The meetings even provided the opportunity to ask for things that might not have been considered otherwise. This is how we got libraries included in the TV licensing exemption if they wanted to screen the broadcasted events for their users.
Communications channels proved really important, with newsletters and online forums promoting funding opportunities and resources to a wider audience.
There is much on offer to support libraries in celebrating the Jubilee:
- Libraries are running activities around and offering titles from the booklist of the Big Jubilee Read run by The Reading Agency and BBC Arts with funding from Arts Council England, and support from Libraries Connected and the Booksellers Association.
- £1,000 from ACE has gone to each library authority through Libraries Connected to help libraries fund Jubilee activities and events.
- The National Archives has awarded grants of up to £5,000 to archives across England to help the archives sector mark Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. The National Archives is also specially digitising content relating to Her Majesty as part its ‘Royalty on Record’ celebrations. Archives, libraries and cultural institutions can join in by sharing their records of past royal visits using #TheQueenVisited
- The British Library is collecting content for its web archive and inviting the UK public to submit their own websites or web content relating to the Jubilee commemorations. Look out for social media and blogs linking its collections with the Jubilee and marking the relationship the Library has with Her Majesty. The British Library is also running two events; one linked to the Jubilee Platinum Pudding and the other, A Queen for All Seasons.
- The BFI has a Jubilee themed collection available in libraries through BFI player. This collection of archival films will show how royal Jubilees have been celebrated and captured on film and television since the earliest days of the moving image. The films, drawn from the collections of the BFI National Archive and regional and national archives across the UK.
- The BBC has granted dispensation for community settings, including libraries, to screen the live programmes throughout the Jubilee weekend without needing to purchase a licence.
It’s not too late to plan something. DCMS has launched the government’s official Platinum Jubilee website which includes a Toolkit full of ideas and resources to help with your celebrations, and don’t forget to add your event to the Jubilee map.
Share your celebrations with us on social media by using #HM70, #PlatinumJubilee and @DCMSLibraries on Twitter