Praveena: Library Takeover

This week we talk to Praveena, a student participating in Library Takeover – an exciting new training programme for aspiring event producers aged 11-18 year and creative library staff.


I found out about the Library Takeover project via an e-mail from Croydon Library. The aim of Library Takeover is to encourage teenagers to visit the library more frequently, by producing an event in a library. I decided to apply because, the scheme offered me a chance to work with professional creative producers as well as other young people.

The first time I walked into the meeting room three things stood out: tables arranged in a long line, big, black chairs and a room full of random people. I exchanged “hellos” and handshakes with everyone, whilst worrying that I would not remember their name the next time we spoke. Thankfully, the board meeting style tables and chairs were pushed aside and we spent the best part of the next two hours playing name games with a stress ball and bonding over food.

Throughout the weeks that followed, we learned about key skills that will help us to create an event. First we thought of ideas for the event and came up with everything from bringing live animals into the library to more mundane ideas, like an open mic night. During the course of the sessions, we decided on a fashion show in which the costumes are based on literature. We felt as though the link to literature made the event tie in well with the library theme. We discussed how to budget, recruit and market the fashion show in our meetings. One session that really stood out was meeting the other Library Takeover group in the Half Moon theatre. Getting to know the other group really helped us develop our own event.

IMG_3489We had our penultimate session a few weeks ago, before taking a break for the summer and the simple idea of a fashion show has evolved into a trail through the library. We decided to hold our event on a day that the library is closed, so the title “Library Takeover” becomes more literal!

The random people I met in our first meeting went from being strangers to friends. Working as a group made the whole experience much more enjoyable and I cannot wait to host the final event.

Praveena is a 15 year old student from Croydon, after moving from India nine years ago. She has just completed her first GCSE year and is passionate about dance and drama.

Keep up to date with Library Takeover project.