In 2015 State Library of Queensland (SLQ) led and facilitated Fun Palace events at libraries across Queensland. Originating in the United Kingdom, Fun Palaces are free, welcoming events combining arts and sciences, made for and with local people held in the first weekend in October. The Fun Palaces campaign is an ongoing movement for culture at the heart of the community. Held at libraries, museums, town halls, theatres and more these family events are as large or small as the organisers want to make them. In 2015 SLQ provided funding to seven public libraries, these were libraries from Gold Coast, Mossman, Beaudesert, Lowood, Longreach, Weipa and Thursday Island. The libraries hosted jugglers, archaeologists, cartoonists and robotics experts and enthusiasts from their local community to celebrate art and science in all its forms. Participants at SLQ could tumble, skip, leap and hoop with Vulcana Kids Circus, meet a giant virus and help it grow, program, control and battle a robot, go air surfing with walk-along gliders, paint a mural with veggies and much more. SLQ also developed a comic maker as our contribution to the global event. This paper will share what happened, what we learned at our first Fun Palaces and why this program is an important part of SLQ’s commitment to inspiring Queenslanders’ creativity. The future direction of Fun Palaces will be discussed including our aim to incorporate more community led and created activities as part of our commitment to increasing community engagement in libraries. The paper will also include a sneak peek at the 2016 Fun Palaces programs.
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