Jan Holden is one of the unsung heroines of BHM in Norfolk and has been an ever-present on the steering group for several years and a great support to many. The extensive programme that takes place in all the county’s libraries has been one of the reasons that Norfolk BHM was last year voted one of the best in the country. Jan answered a few BHM related questions.
Question and Answer
- Q: What is your job title?
- Assistant Head of Service, Norfolk Library and Information Service.
- Q: What are your responsibilities?
- I help manage the library service, my particular areas of responsibility are libraries in Norwich and the surrounding area, libraries in the East of the County and mobile libraries. I have a particular role in ensuring the service we provide meets the needs of all the communities in Norfolk.
- Q: The best thing about your job?
- No two days are the same. I particularly enjoy working with all kinds of different people and developing and deliver services that meet community needs.
- Q: The worst thing about your work?
- Q: Favourite place in Norfolk?
- Walking round Norwich and making unexpected discoveries.
- Q: How long have you been involved in Black History Month?
- Ever since it started in Norfolk.
- Q: What's the best thing about BHM?
- The way it embraces the whole community.
- Q: Your best BHM memory?
- An event we held in Earlham Library a few years ago when we filled the library with music, dance, stories, books and laughter. I enjoyed participating in the dancing part!
- Q: How do you think BHM is perceived across Norfolk?
- Sadly, I feel that a lot of people don’t think that it is relevant to them. Black History Month, however, is an opportunity for the whole community to come together and celebrate diversity. This year the BHM programme will give even more people the opportunity to get involved and to learn just a little bit more about Black History.
- Q: Something special you’ve learned through your involvement in BHM?
- British Society is made up of an amazing mixture of individuals and groups, all of whom have contributed to make Britain what it is today. I have learned so much about Black History and Norfolk during the time that I have been involved – did you know that Equiano the 18th Century Black anti-slavery campaigner spent a few months in Norwich in 1794 and the people here supported the publication of his amazing book, they boycotted the produce of slavery and thousands signed petitions against slavery?
- Q: How would you like to see BHM change in the coming years?
- I would like to see more individuals and groups getting involved in BHM, with more activities happening in locations across the county.