Blackwood Library, in Caerphilly, launched monthly Great Library Bake Off Meetings in September 2015. The meetings often include other activities, while attendees bring a sample of their bakes to share, along with the recipes. The group then sample the bakes and share thoughts about what they have made; they are hoping to produce a folder of all of the recipes they collect in the future. The meetings also often have a theme, such as festive bakes, or national bakes for St David’s Day.
 
Community Librarian Samantha Beckett and her colleague Alex attended a workshop held by the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust in October 2015 in Swansea. They already had plans to hold stock displays in all 18 libraries in Caerphilly County Borough, so had come along to plan for this and find out more information. At the workshop, Samantha found out about previous events held for Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) which involved baking, and decided to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day at the January Library Bake Off Meeting.
 
The theme for the meeting in January was cultural bakes, and it was linked to a coffee morning held for HMD. At the meeting on 22 January, poems were displayed and read aloud to the group, in addition to some life stories from survivors of genocide from the HMDT website. A Tree of Kindness was also created; library customers and visitors were invited to write any thoughts and messages about HMD onto paper leaves, which were then attached to the tree.
Bakes which were brought to the event included a Jewish apple cake, which was shared with everyone who attended.
 
Samantha Beckett, the event organiser, said:
 
‘Attendance at Blackwood Library’s ‘Great Bake Off’ has increased in recent months so I would be happy to link the Bake Off Meeting to HMD again next year because I think it is an event that we will mark in the future.'
 
In addition to the Bake Off event, Blackwood Library and all other libraries in Caerphilly took part in HMD, with displays and information sharing. A computer was made available at each library for members of the public to view hmd.org.uk.
 
 
  • If this example has inspired you to organise an activity for HMD 2017, read our theme vision here.