Leeds Libraries – a collection of 36 libraries across the city – is launching a brand new campaign in a bid to raise awareness of its varied services.
The #whatsyourstory campaign – based upon real-life case studies of Leeds residents who have achieved something out-of-the-ordinary after using the library services.
#whatsyourstory aims to raise awareness of the online and offline materials, activities and events that can be accessed free of charge to adults in Leeds, by documenting the ways in which the services available empower the local community. Leeds Libraries positions itself as a ‘21st century library’, with an online app facility that allows users to access the library catalogues, and over 5000 e-books, from the comfort of their own home.
With services and activities from IT help and writing workshops, to intimate author meets, Leeds Libraries have touched many lives. However, out of all of the thousands of people that use the library services, two very special members stood out. Meet Ma Maposa from Harehills, and Wayne Levitt from Belle Isle –
Ma Maposa had a tough childhood, never having the opportunity to reach his full potential. Whilst walking past Leeds Central Library after a particularly bad day, he met Jamie, who gave him a leaflet for Studio12, part of Leeds Libraries that offers young people access to a free production studio. With the help of Studio12, Ma ignited his passion for music, and started to build himself a successful future. Ma joined forces with other young Leeds music talent to take part in national competition – Writing Britain – which they won. Ma later set up his own YouTube channel, which led to his own media production company and record label, BigOnRoad. He developed and managed Undiscovered: Leeds – a music competition in conjunction with Leeds University. He created, and successfully sold, his own mobile app, and is currently in pre-production for a film that he’s written and produced himself. Now a Creative Director, Ma built a brand new life for himself and puts his success down to the help and support of Leeds Libraries and Studio12.
Ma Maposa said:
“My aim is to empower young people to get into music like me. Ten years ago, I never would have imagined that I’d be where I am now. No dream is too big, it’s just about finding the best way to achieve that dream – for me, this was down to the help of Leeds Libraries and Studio12. They changed my life.”
Wayne Levitt was walking through his local cemetery, and noticed a headstone of a lady with his surname. Always interested in family history, but never having the computer skills to delve into the archives, he got in touch with Leeds Libraries, where he learned basic computer skills which allowed him to access the resources of the Local and Family History library. From this, Wayne discovered that the lady was his great-grandmother. Sparking his passion for family history, Wayne also found out about his relation Arthur Lewis, the only person from Leeds to win the Victoria Cross for his bravery in the Second World War. So far, he’s traced his family tree back to 1803, and his great-great-great-great grandparents. And, he doesn’t plan to stop digging yet.
Councillor Debra Coupar, Leeds City Council’s executive member for communities, said:
“Our libraries play a very important part in the day-to-day lives of people of all ages in communities across Leeds, and this campaign is a great way to highlight the flexible and diverse range of services, activities and events that we have on offer.
Has your life been changed for the better as a result of the services available from Leeds Libraries? If so, we want to hear from you. Get in touch via social media (Twitter -@leedslibraries/ Facebook – leedslibraries) using the hashtag #whatsyourstory or email email@example.com
The campaign will see posters and ads distributed across all indoors and outdoors sites of access to Leeds City Council, with Ma and Wayne appearing on the screens of Millennium Square and Trinity Leeds – as well as billboards and lampposts around the area.