London Borough of Sutton Libraries

“We are heading into a large Public Engagement project through a Mayor of London Cultural Impact Award, so lots that we have learned through our [previous public engagement] project will help us with the planning and evaluation of what will be a yearlong programme of events.”
Siobhan Kneale, London Borough of Sutton Cultural Services
Cartoon graphic illustrating the newsflash service

In an ever increasing digital age, the core aim of Newsflash! was to explore how young people experience and react to fake news. The project team wanted to create a digital platform where this specific target audience could explore the topic of fake news / news misinformation, and which would also reinforce the civic role libraries hold as safe spaces for participation and engagement with research.

Higher Education Engagement

The team worked with Dr Gianfranco Polizzi, Research Fellow, Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues, University of Birmingham

The research team were able to get a wider and more varied audience exposed to their research and make new connections


The project developed NewsFlash!, a fun online video game for 8-12 year olds, with supporting downloadable educational resources for parents, carers and teachers. The aim for both the game and resources was to enhance digital literacy and introduce children to the skills needed to critically think about misinformation.

They worked collaboratively with students at a local primary school to co-create the game and with teachers at schools in Sutton to promote its use as a curriculum resource.

Public Impact

From the survey of under 16s (the main target audience) 63% said they learnt ways of making sure the news they read, watch and hear are true.

The schools who partnered on the project had the opportunity for pupils and staff to be involved in an exciting, different and creative project.

Impact on Library Staff

The library service has been recognised for the project and its innovative and good quality work both internally and externally . It has given the library service the confidence to try things out and confidence to follow up creative ideas.

They are developing a large Public Engagement project through a Mayor of London Cultural Impact Award and will take the learning from this project into that one.

The main creative project officer who worked on the Engaging Libraries project has been inspired to develop their own academic practice in relation to community engagement, by applying for a PhD.

Key facts

Engagement type
Face-to-face in library
Workshops and talks
Self-directed activities
University of Liverpool

Further Information