Our CEO Heather Stuart took part in a ministerial visit to the River Leven to raise awareness of Fife’s Climate Beacon for COP26 on Wednesday 13 September.

The project is an ambitious multi-partnership project to completely transform the neglected areas surrounding the River Leven in mid-Fife, making it into one of Scotland’s most connected and sustainable places, and in doing so, make the River Leven area a great place to work, live and play. OnFife is a partner in the Climate Beacon, working with The Leven Programme and Levenmouth Academy. Climate Beacons for COP26 is a Scotland-wide collaborative project between climate change or environmental organisations and arts, heritage or cultural organisations to stimulate long-term public engagement in the lead-up to and following COP26.

The visit was to a creosote site at a former timber works, owned by Metsawood, a Finnish company. The business wants to work with the Leven Programme to explore opportunities for a river park in an area, though derelict, still well-used by local communities. Fife Council and SEPA have been working closely on ground investigations to determine the extent of any historic pollution.

Heather Stuart visited the site alongside MSP Jenny Gilruth, Minister for Culture, Europe and International Development, Pauline Silverman, Senior Manager Partnerships and Places, Scottish Environment Protection Agency, Duncan Zuill, Teacher of RME, Levenmouth Academy and Dr Lewis Coenen-Rowe, culture/SHIFT Officer at Creative Carbon Scotland.

It’s never too late to return a library book, even after 14 years, as one customer found out at a Fife library.   

It started when the customer came in to request some books. They explained that they hadn’t been in for many years and when the team were updating their file, it flagged up there was an overdue book from 2007.  

The customer returned the next day with the book – children’s fantasy novel The Amazing Maurice by Terry Pratchett – and staff were delighted to find it was still in lendable condition after its long absence.  

The return of the book comes as we are reminding customers that overdue fees are still on hold, a move introduced last year when the pandemic first closed our libraries, all of which have reopened. 

No overdue fees are being charged, even if the book was taken out before the pandemic, and OnFife Libraries hopes people will take advantage and bring back any books they’ve been holding onto. 

“We encourage everyone to check their bookcases for any items they might have borrowed before lockdown, or even longer before that! We will give each one a warm welcome, and we’re sure the next person to read it will appreciate it having been returned.   If you’re not sure which books you borrowed you can find out by either getting in touch with any OnFife Library or via the library online catalogue,” says Yvonne Melville, Service Development Team Leader.  

Find your local library here to return your books or take out new ones.  

Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries has closed for emergency repairs due to a cracked glass panel in the roof.  The glass remains intact but we have secured the area quickly as a precaution.  We are working to get the roof fixed as soon as possible and look forward to welcoming you back to the venue. We will keep you updated on progress here, on our website, and on social media.

More than 500 children in some of Fife’s hardest hit areas scribbled, sticky-taped and origami’d away their summer thanks to a partnership between OnFife and local foodbanks.

OnFife used money awarded by the Summer Programme Fund – funded by Museums Galleries Scotland as part of the Scottish Government’s Get into Summer programme, supporting opportunities for children and young people to socialise, play and reconnect this summer – to run a season of fun and engaging experiences for families, such as outdoor book events for babies and toddlers, craft workshops and ‘Make and Play’ art bags for use at organised activities during the summer holidays. Total funding from Museums Galleries Scotland amounted to £13,558 for all initiatives.

However, the charity also gave 550 art bags out to families through foodbanks in some of Fife’s hardest hit communities, including in Dunfermline, Glenrothes and Kirkcaldy, which include areas that are ranked among the 10% most deprived areas by the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation.

The bags contained crafting essentials such as scissors, glue, colouring pencils and sticky tape. Activities ranged from good old-fashioned colouring-in to mask making and ‘jumping frog’ origami.

Christine McLean, Head of Cultural Heritage and Wellbeing at OnFife, spearheaded the initiative as one of her first projects in post since joining the cultural charity recently. Christine says: “We believe inspiration is for everyone and know how valuable creativity is to our communities. That’s why we were so excited to bring art to families hard-hit by the pandemic and austerity. We hope these have provided some inspiration over the summer holidays.”

Foodbanks reported users were “over the moon” to receive the packs, with one family even taking home five bags. John Thompson, Co-ordinator at Dunfermline Foodbank, says: “The parcels have been well-received by families and certainly keep the children occupied. Hopefully the projects will spark their imagination.”

We’re thrilled that fans of the Adam Smith Theatre can now get a first look behind the scenes at the fantastic work that’s been taking place as part of the first phase of the major refurbishment of the building.

We gave access to the auditorium to journalist Allan Crow and you can see his video report on Fife Today.

The Adam Smith Theatre was created as a memorial to the great economist and philosopher Adam Smith, who was born in Kirkcaldy, and, in partnership with Fife Council, we’ve agreed a refurbishment schedule that seeks to complete the building work for Smith’s tri-centenary celebrations in 2023. Read more about the theatre and our renovations here.

For more than three decades, the Fife Art competition has attracted entries from talented amateur artists across the kingdom, with hundreds of winning works now gracing the walls of NHS buildings as a result.

Now the annual competition, organised by OnFife, is to undergo a major redesign to broaden its impact and reach more potential entrants.

Backed from the outset by sponsor Shell UK, the contest has been a showcase for thousands of works, from paintings to needlework, and even managed to go ahead last year, despite difficulties with submitting entries and a filmed final exhibition shared online.

However, earlier this year, when there was still uncertainty around restrictions that might be in place, the competition was put on hold. Feedback from a survey of participants reported that the virtual exhibition could not replicate the experience of seeing the works up close and in person.

In consultation with Shell UK, the decision has been made to pause the contest for 2021 – although plans are already in coming together for other activities this year such as creative classes and tutorials – and come back bigger and better next year.

“Covid-19 has presented us with a natural break that allows us to step back and engage with our communities and amateur artists to find out how they would like to see Fife Art develop and explore how we can attract new people,” said Gillian Parsons, the competition’s OnFife organiser.

“For more than 30 years the competition has been about the expression of creativity and there’s always been a fantastic buzz of excitement when entries start to arrive as we never know what’s coming in.

“We want to take forward that excitement but build on it so that more people are encouraged to express that creativity and get involved.”

Shell Fife NGL Plant Manager Craig Burnett said: “We’re really pleased to continue our longstanding support for Fife Art. We’re looking forward to seeing how the competition develops next year and hope that the Fife community will be inspired to take part in this celebration of creativity.”

The winning works in each category are presented to NHS Fife for display in hospitals and other facilities and the winners of the 2020 competition were delighted to be at Rothes Halls last week to see the handover take place. However, before the works take up their new positions, they will be exhibited at Kirkcaldy Galleries throughout September.

We are excited to share the first edition of OnReview, the online magazine that showcases the highlights of OnFife’s recent activities.

OnReview provides a platform to show the best – and breadth – of our work as we emerge from the pandemic.

“Previously much of our fantastic work was recorded in our annual report but by the time this is published it can often be a year or more since these activities have taken place, which isn’t ideal. Our new ezine allows us to share in a way that is much more current and accessible,” said Michelle Sweeney, Director of Creative Development.

“The pandemic has inevitably created a before and after and we’ve embraced this as an opportunity to shake things up and look at new ways of showcasing all of the amazing things we deliver to our communities.”

For the launch, we are also unveiling a new piece of collaborative work that involved team members across the organisation – a video that shows the range of OnFife’s work, and the activities it is now bringing back as restrictions continue to be lifted.

OnReview highlights OnFife’s impact around its four main objectives – Creating Inspiring Experiences, Nurturing Our Communities, Seeking Adventure and Valuing & Supporting Our People. It also highlights funding it has secured and how this is being used.

Click here to start reading.

It’s been fantastic to see people back enjoying the great hands-on activities in our Summer Programme this month.

From St Andrews Museum to Seafield Beach, young and old alike have been dipping into our Summer 2021 activities with the added bonus of spectacular weather. The programme includes: Outdoor Bookbugs at St Andrews Museum and Dunfermline Carnegie Library and Galleries; Art-tastic-inspired Banner-Making activities; Explore!-inspired Craft workshops and Expressive Planting.
These events have been supported by funding from Museums Galleries Scotland as part of the Scottish Government’s Get Into Summer programme, supporting opportunities for children and young people to socialise, play and reconnect this summer. We are observing Scottish Government health and safety guidelines to keep everyone safe.
We’re also continuing our online work this summer with a host of exciting activities through OnFife Virtual LibrarYAY. With Kids Dens, Story Hunts, Storytelling, Cosplay, Comic-Book Creation and Poetry – there’s truly something for everyone. Check it all out on our LibrarYAY web page.
Find out more and get involved on our Summer 2021 page – and if you want to discover more about what you can get up to in Fife this summer check out GoFife.

OnFife Libraries, Museums and Galleries will be closed on Monday (19 July) for the Local Public Holiday. We look forward to welcoming you back from Tuesday onwards – you can find opening hours on each venue’s page.

We’re sorry, our online book request and renew service is temporarily out of order. We’re working with our system supplier, Capita Discovery, to resolve this as quickly as possible.