Bringing ideas, imagination, information and knowledge to people’s lives and communities


Evolve is a new and imaginative programme of events and artworks within Devon’s libraries, delivered by us, in partnership with artists and communities and funded by Arts Council England

Evolve Libraries of Now

Your library card is a key that unlocks a world of opportunities, knowledge, imagination and experiences, and a wealth of people to help you navigate it.

Explore the latest offering within your local library, and discover a world of technology, adventure, storytelling and creativity.

Evolve will bring to life your much-loved childhood stories, historical tales and events and some of our favourite literature through animation, digital screenings, touch-activated technology, virtual reality and integrated artworks.

All you ever need to access any of these exciting events and activities is your library card. Your very own key.

What’s on…

February 2019

Exeter Library Hackathontwo day hackathon for disabled, Deaf and non-disabled artists, thinkers, technologists, and arts and tech lovers to look at how we can make our libraries the most accessible space possible using arts and technologies. Hosted and facilitated by internationally acclaimed artist Sue Austin and CEDA. 


A new, innovative and co-designed addition to Exeter Library, the Listening Booth is a new space to listen to stories and sounds. Combining cutting edge speaker technology and co-design by pupils at WESC foundation – specialist centre for Visual Impairment- enter a fully accessible audio only space where you can lose yourself in new audio pieces every month, including new commissioned works from Exeter writers.  

More info at 

  • Monday 18th @ Bideford Library and Barnstaple Library: EnchanTales

Watch as your favourite childhood stories spring to life from the pages of a book.  Inspired by treasuredEnchanTales at Bideford and Barnstaple Library childhood stories and fairytales shared by library visitors, EnchanTales is a new collaborative art-work made by artist Emma Hughes and young people from Barnstaple and Bideford, brought to life through touch. Using cut out animation techniques and cutting-edge conductive ink technology, EnchanTales brings a little magic and mischief to these well-loved stories.  

Visit Bideford or Barnstaple Library between 18th February and 17th March to experience this unique and enchanting art-work.

  • Friday 22nd, 9:00 – 12:00 @ Exeter Library, 13:00 – 14:30 @ St Thomas Library and 15:30 – 17:00 @ Topsham Library: The Lost Librarian, workshops 

Drop in to these hands-on workshops preceding the launch of the Lost Librarian multi-library puzzle trail that takes place across three Exeter libraries (Exeter, St Thomas & Topsham). Artists Elizabeth Johnson and Kyle Hirani will be showcasing, testing and chatting about the new technologies, puzzles and designs they are developing for their upcoming multi-library puzzle trail which opens in March 2019. No need to book, just drop in and get involved! 

March 2019

Billy The Kid at Bideford LibraryExperience Bideford Library as you’ve never seen it before, shelves pushed aside and stories springing to life through our new season of screenings from some of the country’s finest theatre companies. Michael Morpurgo’s Billy the Kid is told through the eyes of an 80-year-old man, recounting his journey as a star footballer and how the Second World War impacted his life. This production was captured by Digital Theatre live at London’s Unicorn Theatre. Directed by Tony Graham, starring Dudley Sutton as Billy.

Book your tickets here>>>

Watch the trailer here:

Come and join us in the epic majesty of Bideford Town Hall Council Chambers for a screening in honour The Crucible at Bideford Libraryof Bideford’s extraordinary witch history. Arthur Millers’ the Crucible is a partially fictionalised telling of the Salem witch trials. Accusations of witchcraft spiral out of control and many must choose between reputation and integrity. This production, captured by Digital Theatre live at London’s Old Vic, was directed by Yaël Farber and stars Richard Armitage. 

Book your tickets here>>>

Watch the trailer here:

  •  Saturday 16th, 10:00 – 13:00 @ Bideford Library: Come and see the new zine library

A zine is a small-circulation self-published work. They cover broad topics including fanfiction, politics, poetry, art & design, ephemera, personal journals, social theory, intersectional feminism, single-topic obsession, or content far outside the mainstream. Come and drop by and see our brilliant and accessible new zine library in the warmth of Bideford Library. 

Make your own zine with renowned zine artist Camilla Stacey. Open to participants of all ages and abilities. Come and get involved and even add to our new zine library! 

Book your tickets here>>>

  • Wednesday 20th, 17:00 @ Bideford Library: The Comedy of Errors, Digital Theatre screening. This is a free event.

Comedy of Errors at Bideford LibraryTaking place during Shakespeare Week (18-24th March) we present one of Shakespeare’s early comedies re-imagined by some of theatre’s greatest comedy minds. The Comedy of Errors is a fast-paced farce exploring mistaken identities and relations lost and found. This production was captured by Digital Theatre live at the Clapham Community Project and was devised and directed by Paul Hunter (as told by an idiot) in collaboration with the Royal Shakespeare Company. 

Watch the trailer here:

Please register for your free ticket here>>>

  • Saturday 23rd @ Barnstaple Library and Sunday 24th @ Exeter Library: Create a Comic Book workshop with award-winning cartoonist Tony Husband– Tickets £10/£5 (under 14’s) + booking feeTony Husband comic and cartoon workshop

This workshop is suitable for everyone aged from 8 to 108! Join the Private Eye’s award-winning cartoonist Tony Husband to discover and create your very own comic strip.  Your contribution will feed into a new comic, made over both days, that will become available in our libraries for all to enjoy. 

Book tickets for Saturday 23rd @ Barnstaple Library here>>>

Book tickets for Sunday 24th @ Exeter Library here>>>


  • Thursday 28th @ Barnstaple Library: Tech Tales, Barnstaple 

Tech Tales Barnstaple Library

Barnstaple Library is currently exhibiting an art installation that has been designed using inspiration from some of the major transformational events that have taken place in Barnstaple. ‘A meeting Point’, by Historian Oskar Schortz and inventor and technologist Marcus Comaschi is a new interactive ‘tome stone’ developed through workshops with the North Devon local studies collection. Inspired by Barnstaple’s historic tome stone – the place where people would hang notes of their paid debts– this unique and remarkable artwork sees interactive light emitting nails respond to visitor’s movements, pulsing and ascending, shedding a new light on this rare part of the town’s history. Come, play and interact! Free and open to all ages.  The Tech Tales installation will be available between 28th March and 23rd April.

Keep up to date with their developments here.

  • Thursday 28th @ Bideford Library: Ferny Combes – A New Take on Old Texts Tech Takes Bideford Library

Bideford Library is proud to present ‘Ferny Combes’ – a new collection of interactive diorama’s inspired by its own rare Chope Collection. A unique and tactile journey created by artist Clare Petherick and technologist Jay Kerry, this art piece showcases new innovations through magically intricate carved artworks. Take out a book and marvel as the environment morphs and changes around you, drawing you into these stunning artworks as hidden technology brings these books alive.

April 2019

  • Monday 1st April @ Exeter Library, St Thomas Library and Topsham Library: The Lost Librarian multi-library puzzle trail 

Can you unravel the mystery of our missing Librarian and unlock the forgotten tale of Exeter? 

One of our librarians has gone missing. They were rumoured to have been researching a lost treasure…  

Throughout Easter, Exeter, Topsham and St Thomas libraries will be brought to life with hidden puzzles and clues. Interact with exciting new technologies and mechanical marvels as you search to solve the mystery of the lost librarian. 

Created by Bristol based duo, creative technologist Kyle Hirani (‘How to Build a Robot’, ‘The Book Hive’) and artist, Elizabeth Johnson (‘Silk Stockings and Social ladders’, ‘The Book Hive’.) in association with Talespinners.  Take part in this interactive, digital trail between 28th March and 23rd April.

Arts Council England

Libraries Unlimited believes…

…in the unlimited potential of library services to make a positive difference to people’s lives and communities through a shared love of reading and access to high quality information and facilities.