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*NPALS from April 2021*


NPALS will continue to be AVAILABLE for collection/return appointments at Radford Library

No current loans will be due for return until the end of July 2021. We will be extending our pandemic renewal program and fines amnesty into the New Year. We will be ready to support you as our rehearsal spaces and venues open up again.


NPALS Appointments

Groups are able to collect, or return NPALS orders on an appointment only basis from Radford Lenton Library.

Groups are also able to collect, or return NPALS orders at some branches of Nottingham City Libraries and Inspire Libraries

Each library will be operating its own COVID-19 measures. Please follow the links above to find more information about the relevant controls in place, at your preferred library.

Our revised hours are available to view here

To make an appointment to collect, or return orders at the NPALS Library in Radford, please email npals@nottinghamcity.gov.uk stating the name of your organisation, along with the date and time you wish to book.

More information about what to expect, will be sent upon confirmation of an appointment. All exchanges at the NPALS library will be made using the door to the rear of the building, to avoid the need for borrowers to enter the library building, at any time. With regret that we are unable to offer access the NPALS reference collection, at this time.

Any groups affected by the temporary suspension of NPALS, will be compensated accordingly. We will continue to honour the fines amnesty for items falling overdue during the period of closure.

*Please be advised that toilet facilities will no longer be available at the Radford-Lenton site* 


FREE Nonsuch taster sessions

Nonsuch Studios have announced their latest programme of Drama workshops and NPALS members are invited to participate in FREE taster sessions! NPALS members can choose between attending in person, or online (via Zoom). Workshop details are available via the links below:

Beginners Acting: Monday 28th September 6-7pm

Adult Acting: Monday 28th September 7.30-9pm

Script & Playreading: Thursday 1st October 10.30-12pm

Just apply the promo code ‘NPALS’ at checkout, to access the offer.


NPALS members attending in person can also benefit from £1 barista coffee AND 10% discount on food and drink from the Nonsuch Café.


The Impact of COVID-19 on reading and performance groups

Enormous thanks to everyone who took part in our survey. We are delighted to share that we had a really successful uptake of 40%. So, what have we learned? 

Some stark truths….

  • 59% of all groups indicated that their organisation had not convened since 23rd March
  • 69% of all groups indicated that their organisation had not engaged in online rehearsal/activity since lockdown
  • For those members rehearsing / performing in other ways, 77% were with other organisations online

Some good news…

  • 57% of all groups indicate having utilised video conferencing platforms (Facetime, Zoom etc.) since lockdown.
  • 31% of respondents indicated that they had engaged in online rehearsal / activity and that video conferencing was the main method.
  • 88% of responding organisations indicated that their members’ safety was the biggest future concern
  • Following government (and WHO) advice, implementing social distancing and limiting congregation were rated as the most likely controls to be implemented, in order to resume activity.

What are the implications?

It is great to know that everyone is on the same page, when it comes to members’ wellbeing. When it becomes possible to physically congregate and rehearse in larger numbers, protecting the safety of members will be the priority. Until then, 86% of organisations indicate that they have used email to connect with members, since lockdown. That is an overwhelming majority of digitally enabled members. The majority of groups indicate that they have already used video conferencing platforms, since lockdown. The question is, why are people joining new organisations, when existing organisations have the skills to engage with the vast proportion of their membership online?

What can we do?

We’ve had some inspiring comments regarding members finding solutions to the current crisis. We all know what we can’t do at the moment, so let’s focus on what we CAN do:

  • Make the most of technology. Members are using video calling platforms, live streaming and recordings to keep engaged. There is a helpful course to get you started with video calling here 
  • Think about programming for smaller numbers. How might you connect members in smaller groups? Cast sizes, chamber, consort, section ensembles and arrangements. Can you ever have enough brass bands, or string quartets?
  • Make the most of garden spaces and warmer weather! At the time of writing, Government guidelines permit meeting in any outdoor space in a group of up to 6 people from different households. It’s been wonderful to hear that people have formed chamber groups in garden spaces.
  • Look around you. At the time of writing, Government guidelines permit the meeting of 2 households (support bubbles) in any location – public or private, indoors or outdoors. Do other members of your household have talents? If you are not fortunate enough to have a Kanneh-Mason in your family, you could create a new performing group with another household (or more, just not at the same time).
  • Share skills. Set regular projects for your members and motivate each with mentoring,
  • Stay connected, Do you have a regular time, or space for members of your organisation to socialise online

What about NPALS?

The results of our survey indicated that the best way in which we could support you is by providing physical resources on a PAYG basis and improve provision for the digital lending of resources. So that’s precisely what we’re going to work on.


NPALS is glad to be back at Radford Lenton Library. Don’t hesitate to contact us if we can be of support.


Stay connected during the pandemic

You already know how important your group is to your members and the difference it makes to the cultural life of the community. Does your group have a place for members to connect online? We've collated a few resources for you here, that might help you to re-connect, stay connected and make new connections over the coming weeks:

What's out there?

Making Music have collated a great page full of useful links for keeping groups active here

Music for Everyone have launched their own YouTube channel, full of activities for you to get involved in here:  

How do we get involved?

If your group does not have a place for members to connect online, now might be a good time to reach out and set up a chat group via social media, or digital messaging platforms:

If you usually access the internet via a desktop / laptop computer. Creating a Facebook group is an easy way to connect group members online

If you use a mobile phone, or tablet to access the internet then Whatsapp is another application that allows you to create an online group

How do I get started?

If you, or your members are new to social media and messaging platforms, take a short course on how to get started:

With Facebook 

Using other social media platforms

If you're new to video chat, you may find the following course useful:

Zoom is an application that many people are using that is not covered in this module, however, you can access it online here

However, please be advised that zoom meetings are not encrypted and may be accessed by third parties 

Finally, there's a whole host of resources available for you to use for FREE via Nottingham City Council's Online Library

So please do take a look. 

Keep busy, keep active and stay safe x


NPALS wins 2019 Excellence Award 

Nottingham Performing Arts Library was delighted to be awarded a 2019 International Association of Music Libraries UK & IRL Excellence Award  on 14th May 2019. The NPALS Delivery Co-ordinator was also presented with a 2019 Personal Achievement Award. Enormous thanks to Dr Charles Inskip, Programme Director of the MA in Library and Information Studies at University College London and everyone in the IAML community. It’s the IAML network that allows us to share valuable cultural resources, making such a wide range of music accessible. Thank you to all of our colleagues across the Library network and our wonderful borrowers. Read the Nottingham Post article here. 


‘Unspoken words’ in conversation with Amanda Whittington  

NPALS were thrilled to welcome Amanda Whittington in conversation with Associate Professor of Drama and Performance from the University of Nottingham; Dr Jo Robinson. On October 13th 2017 one of Britain’s most well-loved playwrights captivated an audience at Nottingham Central Library. Enormous thanks to Amanda and Dr Jo for such a special evening! Thanks also, to the Lacemarket Theatre and the cast of ‘The Thrill of Love’, for joining us. 


Samuel French donations 

Following the re-location of London’s finest Bookshop earlier in 2017, the lovely people at Samuel French gifted borrowers at NPALS over a thousand pounds worth of play scripts. Special thanks to Garry and the team at Samuel French for supporting our NPALS borrowers. We wish them all the best in their new home.  


Make Music Day

Radford-Lenton Library was delighted to take part in the first UK Make Music Day. On 21st June 2017, musicians of all ages shared their love of music with NPALS by performing live in the Library. Enormous thanks to our lovely neighbours at Clement Pianos for supporting the event. Special thanks also to Ben Mark Smith, Joyce West, Jonathan Beckett, The Red Hats, Trinity School Klezmer Group, Scarlet, Ellie & Matthew, Meghana Alurkar, Harmoneyes, Ed Pedraum & Ava, Oldish Spice and Charlotte from Bookstart for putting the Music in Make Music Day. Such a great day, thanks so much for sharing your love of music with us. You can find out more about Make Music Day here

NPALS wins Hearts for the Arts Award

Nottingham City Council was delighted to be awarded a Hearts for the Arts Award on May 8th 2017. The Nottingham Performing Arts Library Service was heralded as the Best Local Authority Arts Initiative. Enormous thanks to Howard Goodall CBE and Sam West, who both took time out of their busy schedules to address a full Council Meeting and present the award to Councillor Dave Trimble. We were absolutely delighted to even be nominated. Special thanks to all of our colleagues across the Library network, along with borrowers past present and future, you really do put culture at the heart of our community!

You can find out more about the other fantastic Hearts for Arts Projects here