Telling the Tale
Hammersmith and Fulham Libraries

“We’d very much like to work with the library again”
Dr Austen El-Osta, Imperial College London
Aabha's workshop drawing
Aabha's drawing

The project worked with a diverse audience to create exploratory and creative conversations about life-science research and self-care between library audiences and scientists. It also aimed to use the conversations to create new ideas, new partnerships and a ‘street corner’ engagement with science.

Higher Education Engagement

Staff from SCARU and MRC scientists participated in project development and planning, provided training to library staff, conducted research with community partners and interviews with library staff as well as supporting the delivery of the project workshops and conversation.

The project created opportunities for SCARU to research self-care and co-produce research with community partners and library staff and users. Scientists from MRC were able to present their work to community audiences for the first time. The MRC engagement officer developed new ideas inspired by the conversational format of the sessions. Long term partnership links with SCARU, MRC and the library service have been developed.


The project enabled teenagers and adults from diverse backgrounds to meet professional scientists for the first time. It provided them with a platform to develop communication skills and to reflect on their own possible careers. It also allowed participants to exhange ideas with scientists and other members of the public.

An ongoing coffee morning discussion group has been established which continues to engage the audiences reached during the project.

Public Impact

Participants reported that the project helped to combat loneliness and social isolation and built their confidence to participate in further education.

Impact on Library Staff

Staff increased skills in presentation, especially in zoom conversations and presentations. They also developed new ideas and techniques for creative writing and ‘out of the box’ thinking exercises.

Key facts

Engagement type
1-to-1 interactions
Group discussions
Workshops and talks
Universal Offer
Information and Digital
Imperial College London’s Self Care Academic Research Unit (SCARU)
MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences
Richard Neville (Storyteller)

Further Information