Songbook was originally devised as a way of bringing creativity into libraries that could be accessible and a fun approach for people of all ages. Rather than placing people in an uncomfortable situation of having to write a song, participants are given a few minutes to wander round the library and choose a book that they might be interested in.
From there, a simple technique opens up a world of possibilities and connections that allow people to use their imaginations to create an original song.
This approach has been used so far in numerous libraries across North Ayrshire and South Ayrshire over the last two years. Schools groups, after school clubs, holiday sessions as well as a several months with a Women's Drug & Alcohol Addiction Group have shown that Songbook is a fantastic resource.
Through Continuing Professional Development (CPD) sessions with North Ayrshire Librarians, the technique has even been taken on by librarians keen to work creatively with groups who meet in their library.
Paul Brunton, Creative Director, "I think libraries are wonderful places, a central part of communities as well as being a great source of knowledge. With the rise of the internet people probably use libraries less, but I had an idea to turn them into creative spaces as they are such a great resource. The songwriting sessions bring a great buzz to a library space and it's a very social experience for all involved.
The Women's Group in Stevenston has been a great success. Right from the beginning the women involved were totally engaged in the whole process and after a few weeks, even though none of them had met, they became a great support to each other as they worked on their songs. For some it really has been a life enhancing experience."
The 2017 project was run in partnership with North Ayrshire Council and funded by The Scottish Library and Information Council.