All the latest news and events for libraries in North Yorkshire.


North Yorkshire libraries will support the Family Learning Festival throughout October with events, activities and displays to encourage people to learn something new.

Family Learning Festival is the biggest annual celebration of family learning in the UK, aiming to bring families together for learning that is fun, informal and inspiring. Libraries across North Yorkshire have lots of exciting plans guaranteed to do just that.

If your children are starting to learn coding at school and you want to know what they’re doing, the library is the place to go. Malton, Harrogate, Knaresborough, Skipton and Northallerton are among the libraries running coding sessions for families.

Selby library will host children’s author Christina Gabbitas for stories and songs on Wednesday 10 October, from 10.30am to 11.30am. Children’s poet Kate Wakeling will be at Ripon library as she reads from her prize-winning collection, Moon Juice, on Saturday 13 October, from 10am to 11am.

On 2 November at 2pm, Pickering library will host Rise of the Shadow Stealers, a performance by Suitcase and Spectacles Theatre Company using puppetry, music and mime.

Other events include:

  • Skipton library on 12 October at 7pm - Words and Music, an evening celebrating the work of the Bronte sisters;
  • Northallerton library from 15 October to 3 November - an exhibition of photographs and information featuring the former Northallerton prison site through the ages; and
  • Whitby library from 26 October to 2 November - Truth and Fantasy is the latest exhibition by Art Unpacked. Free family drawing activities will also take place during the half-term holiday to mark this exhibition.

For more information about any of these events, contact your local library.

On 11 November 1918 an armistice signed in a railway carriage north of Paris ended the war in Western Europe. This was followed later by the peace treaties signed in Versailles in 1919, which officially ended the First World War.

Northallerton library is to commemorate the armistice centenary by holding two events in the run up to Armistice Day.

On Tuesday 23 October at 11am, the library will host author Margaret Parry who will be discussing her book 'The War Poets and Diary of an Ordinary Tommy',  a highly original and personal response to her grandfather’s diary.

Margaret’s grandfather Harry Atkinson was a Royal Army Medical Corps soldier and recorded his experience at the Somme and Arras. The event will be followed by a book signing. ‘The War Poets and the Diary of an Ordinary Tommy: Convergence, Class and Transmission’ was published by Austin Macauley in January 2018. For more information, visit

On Thursday 25 October at 4pm, there will be a showing of three short films from the Imperial War Museum about women in the First Word War: 

  • 'Deeds not Words: The Suffragette Surgeons of WWI' (directed by Alison Ramsey from Digital Drama, winner of the Best Use of IWM Archive Material - 13 mins);
  • 'The War Women of England' (IWM - 12 mins); and
  • 'Women in Nursing and Medicine during the First World War' (IWM - 10 mins).

Both events take place in the Northallerton library first floor gallery. The events are free of charge, however donations for the library are welcome. Places are limited so booking is essential.

For more information please contact Northallerton library on 01609 533832 or email

Northallerton library is helping you to get ready for Halloween this year! Join us for a fun filled workshop creating your own spooky Halloween themed lanterns and sculptures in clay.

The workshop aimed at adults will take place at Northallerton library, first floor gallery on Monday 22 October from 10.30am until 12 noon. 

Spaces for the session are limited therefore advance booking is required. The workshops cost £5 per person and all materials and tools will be provided - please bring an apron or wear suitable clothing. No experience needed. Join the fun and get ready for Halloween.

For more information please contact Northallerton library on 01609 533832 or email

Have you seen coding activities advertised and wondered what coding is? These sessions are an ideal opportunity to have a go at some basic coding activities.

The sessions are led by members of our Code Club volunteering team who regularly deliver coding activities to children.

The free sessions are taking place on Monday 16 October as part of Get Online Week 2018. There is one session running from 10am to 11am, and another from 11.15am to 12.15pm. Choose the session time that suits you best and give the library a call to book a place.

For more information please contact Harrogate library on 01609 536658 or email

Collavoce Choir are returning to Harrogate library with their new show. Led by musical director Catherine Field-Leather, their library performance last year sold out so make sure you book early to avoid disappointment.

The choir are performing on Saturday 13 October from 2pm to 3.30pm.

Tickets for the show cost £2.

For more information and tickets, please contact Harrogate library on 01609 536658 or email

Harrogate library is hosting a chakra yoga workshop on Saturday 13 October, from 10.30am to 11.45am.

The session will be delivered by Jojoba Yoga and is aimed at anyone of any age and any ability. The instructor, Joanna Cowper, is a registered exercise professional with over 25 years of experience.

Tickets for the yoga workshop are 50p each.

For more information and tickets, please contact Harrogate library on 01609 536658 or email

Learn how meditation can help you deal with anxiety and everyday stress by attending this meditation workshop at Harrogate library.

No experience of meditation is necessary. The workshop will be led by Vivien McKnight and is on Wednesday 10 October, from 11am to 12 noon.

Tickets for the workshop cost £2.

For more information and tickets, please contact Harrogate library on 01609 536658 or email

On Wednesday 10 October, to celebrate World Mental Health Day 2018, Northallerton library will hold an information drop-in with Samaritans. The session will take place in the lending library from 10am until 12 noon.

To find out more about support offered by Samaritans please visit or call on 116 123 (free phone number).

For more information please contact Northallerton library on 01609 533832 or email

Author of the Yorkshire Ghost Stories, Karen Perkins, will be talking about her work at Harrogate library on Tuesday 9 October at 2pm.

The latest book in the Yorkshire Ghost Stories collection, 'Parliament of Rooks', delves into the era of 'The Yorkshire Slavery', and contrasts the beautiful, inspiring village of Haworth today with the slum - or rookery - it was during the industrial revolution: rife with disease, heartache, poverty, and employing child slavery in the mills.

Karen will be reading from this book, as well as giving a sneak peek of her current project, 'Jennet', due to be released later in October, and talking about her route to publication.

Tickets are free but booking is advised.

For more information and tickets, please contact Harrogate library on 01609 536658 or email

As part of National Libraries Week 2018, Northallerton library will host a prostate cancer awareness drop-in session on Monday 8 October 2018 from 10am to 2.30pm. During the session visitors to the library will be able to speak to a Prostate Cancer UK volunteer and pick up an information leaflet.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men, with over 330,000 living with and after the disease in the UK. One man dies from the disease every 45 minutes, however it can often be successfully treated if caught early enough. Men over 50, black men and men with a family history of prostate cancer all face a higher than average risk of the disease.

On the day the library will also hold free talks to raise awareness of prostate cancer and provide more information. The talks are at 11am and 2pm.

To find out more about prostate cancer visit Anyone with concerns about prostate cancer may contact Prostate Cancer UK's specialist nurses in confidence on 0800 074 8383 or online via the Live Chat instant messaging service.

For more information please contact Northallerton library on 01609 533832 or email

North Yorkshire libraries will turn into fun palaces on 6 October with free arts, science and cultural activities for everyone.

Fun palaces is a campaign to bring culture in its widest sense into the heart of communities. This can include anything from arts and crafts to science and technology or sport. Every year, fun palaces have a weekend of action in October when local people share their skills and enthusiasm to give others a chance to try something new.

All activities will take place on Saturday 6 October and will be free. Northallerton library has scribble set, an experimental art taster session for adults. Just drop in any time from 10.30am to 12 noon. For children, from 11am to 12 noon there is a code club session with the opportunity to build a simple app. And there will be glitter and metallic tattoos for everyone from 10am to 11am.

Pickering library will be host an army tent, with First and Second World War artefacts to view and costumes to try on. If history isn’t your thing, there will be Japanese drumming as well.

Events at Ripon library will include Lego robot building with Abi from Bricktime, jewellery making, digital storytelling, creative writing and a yoga taster session.

Other activities around the county include:

  • A performances by Beach Hut Theatre Group and Julie Hatton’s School of Dance at Scarborough library;
  • Interactive experiments, a Van de Graaff generator and slime making at Malton library with Love Science; and
  • Coding, sculpting and building Lego robots at Skipton library.

For more information about these activities, contact your local library. For more information about fun palaces, see


Great Ayton Discovery Centre is holding an exhibition about Captain Cook to mark the 250th anniversary of the explorer’s first expedition to the South Seas in 1768.

Funded by the Arts Council, volunteers from Great Ayton Discovery Centre and Whitby library have been working with the County Record Office and Scarborough-based art and science organisation Invisible Dust. They visited the County Record Office in Northallerton to uncover hidden treasures for an exhibition entitled Archive Explorers: Riding the Waves of Discovery! The exhibition was launched at Whitby library and has now moved to Great Ayton Discovery Centre, where it will be launched on Wednesday 26 September.

Archive Explorers is a journey into Whitby’s past and the natural world at the time of Captain Cook, using unique material held at the County Record Office. On their visits, the volunteers examined maps, sketches, recipes, contemporary records of the Whitby Naturalist Society and other material that puts into sharp contrast the changes in the town over 250 years.

Among the finds was information about the transit of Venus, which was measured by Cook when he visited Tahiti in the hope of finally giving scientists the data they needed to answer one of the big questions in astronomy at that time: how far from the Sun was the Earth?

Staff from the County Record Office will be on hand on 26 September to cast further light on the treasure in the County Record Office.

For more information please contact Great Ayton Discovery Centre on 01642 723268 or email

Catterick community library is closed for refurbishment until Saturday 13 October at 10am, when it will reopen with full services.

Overdue charges will not apply for the duration of the closure. You can still access e-books, e-magazines, digital audiobooks and online resources 24 hours a day from our digital library service here.

Your nearest libraries during this time are Richmond community library and Colburn community library.

Stokesley community library - The Globe will be closed all day on Saturday 22 September for Stokesley Show.

For more information about the library see the Stokesley community library page, telephone 01609 533461 or email

There is a brilliant challenge happening in Ripon this autumn for those aged 12 to 120, for both avid and aspiring readers alike.

Collect your free book bingo card at Ripon library from 22 September to be in with a chance to win a gift card of your choice.

To play, just read any library books that fit the various interesting challenges on the bingo card until you complete a line, hand it back into the library and be entered into a prize draw to win a gift card of your choice. Pick up another card and pay again - you can hand in as many cards as you wish.

If you haven’t read for some time but would like to get back into it, if you have trouble choosing a book from our fantastic range or you want to try something new but don’t know where to start then book bingo is for you. Try authors and genres that are new to you and open up your reading world.

Book bingo ends on 22 December and prizes (three to be won - first prize worth £50 and two runners up of £25 each) will be drawn early in the new year. The more you read, the higher your chances of winning will be.

For more information please contact Ripon library on 01609 536623 or email

The remarkable life of the Yorkshire-born author of 'Lassie Come Home' will be the subject of a presentation at Filey library on 27 September, starting at 6pm.

Malton-born Greg Christie will speak about the life of Eric Knight. Knight is now known only for being the author of the original 'Lassie Come Home' novel, the rest of his extraordinary life and works having been forgotten.

Yorkshireman Knight was born into relative affluence but descended into poverty after being abandoned as a child. As an adult, he emigrated to America to become a successful writer of mainly Yorkshire-themed works. Among his many literary achievements was his early contribution of Yorkshire hero Sam Small to the superhero genre, long before Batman and Superman.

After finding fame in America, when war broke out he returned to the UK attached to the US Office of Strategic Services. Widely believed to be operating as a spy, he died in a mysterious plane crash in 1943.

Greg has written 'Knight: Yorkshireman, Storyteller, Spy', an entertaining account of the many-faceted Eric Knight and the twists and turns of his life. After unexpectedly losing his sight, Greg studied writing in York and won a Churchill Fellowship to the US where he lectured on Knight.
Copies of 'Knight: Yorkshireman, Storyteller, Spy' and 'Lassie Come Home' are available to borrow at Filey library. Those interested in the life of Eric Knight can find out more online using their library card to access the Dictionary of National Biography free on the North Yorkshire Libraries website.

Tickets for the 'Knight: Yorkshireman, Storyteller, Spy' event cost £2.

For more information and tickets, please contact Filey library on 01609 536608 or email

We are looking for volunteers to support our bibliographic services team at the library headquarters in Northallerton.

Information days will be held in Northallerton library to give people an opportunity to find out more. Anyone who is interested can drop in to either of the following sessions:

  • Wednesday 26 September, 10am to 12 noon; or
  • Monday 1 October, 11am to 1pm.

Northallerton library is also keen to hear from anyone interested in volunteering within the library itself. Various roles are available, from serving customers to helping with story times to delivering books to housebound customers. Anyone interested can find out more at the same information days.

You can also find out more about volunteering with the library service here.

From Monday 3 September, the opening hours for Leyburn community library will change as they are now able to remain open at lunchtime.

The new opening hours are:

  • Monday, 10am to 4pm
  • Tuesday, 10am to 6pm
  • Wednesday, closed
  • Thursday, closed
  • Friday, 10am to 4pm
  • Saturday, 10am to 12 noon
  • Sunday, closed

For more information please contact Leyburn community library on 01609 535971 or email

From Saturday 1 September, the opening hours for Thirsk community library will change.

The new opening hours are:

  • Monday, 10am to 5pm
  • Tuesday, 1pm to 5pm
  • Wednesday, closed
  • Thursday, 10am to 6pm
  • Friday, 10am to 5pm
  • Saturday, 9.30am to 3pm
  • Sunday, closed

For more information, please contact Thirsk community library on 01609 534589 or email

Amateur photographers across North Yorkshire are being given the chance to see their work 'in print' in a competition organised by the council's library service.

The service is producing new limited edition library cards and to illustrate them is seeking inspiring pictures that capture the beauty and diversity of a North Yorkshire summer.

Six pictures will be chosen and the winning photographers will see their pictures turned into limited edition library cards that will be used by library members across the county.

County councillor Greg White, executive member for library and community services, said: "While the library service has a wide variety of interesting cards for members to choose from, we don’t have any that celebrate what is undoubtedly the most beautiful county in the country. I know that North Yorkshire’s budding photographers will be out and about over the summer capturing fantastic images of our towns, villages and landscapes and this is great opportunity to see their work reproduced on special library cards."

How to enter

Entries can be emailed to or posted to North Yorkshire Library HQ, Grammar School Lane, Northallerton DL6 1DF. The  competition terms and conditions can be read here (pdf / 160 KB).

All entries must be received by 5pm on Monday 24 September 2018.

Other news stories and events

Filey library was officially reopened following its refurbishment by the chair of North Yorkshire County Council, cllr Robert Windass, on Friday 27 July.

The library closed for four weeks earlier this summer for refurbishment, which included a new children’s area and new mobile bookshelves, which allow the space to be used more flexibly for events. The library has been redecorated, IT facilities have been redeveloped and there are plenty of spaces for visitors to connect to the free wi-fi on their devices or book onto a library computer.

The council has invested £56,000 in the refurbishment to create a bright, modern and vibrant community space. Customers will also benefit from £10,000 of new library stock.

Visitors to the opening event were able to make their own contributions to the creation of a 'dragon banner' as part of the Filey dragon festival. The completed banner is on display in the library.

The new children’s library has already provided a great setting for the annual summer reading challenge. The challenge, which this year has the theme of 'mischief makers', is created to encourage children aged four to 11 to read six books over the summer holidays. As they read their chosen books, children can claim rewards such as colour-in comic glasses and a wristband. Those who complete the challenge will be awarded a medal and certificate to celebrate their achievement. Children can also book into a range of activities in the library each Wednesday during August.

Regular activities at the library include:

  • Filey book group, second Wednesday of the month, 5pm to 6.30pm;
  • family history help with family history volunteers on Monday and Wednesday, 10am to 12 noon;
  • Scarborough Borough Council information desk, Monday 2pm to 5pm and Wednesday 10am to 5pm;
  • storytime for under-fives on Friday morning, 11am to 11.30am;
  • knit and natter group, Thursday, 1pm to 3pm;
  • Soundings creative writing group, third Thursday of the month, 10am to 12 noon;
  • Filey writers group, third Saturday of the month, 10am to 12 noon; and
  • from August, job match help and advice for job hunters, Wednesday, 10am to 3pm.

For more information please contact Filey library on 01609 536608 or email

Boroughbridge community library and resource centre has been selected as North Yorkshire’s Library of the Year for improved performance by the council's library service.

Charitable trust Boroughbridge Area Community Library Association (BACLA) has run the library since December 2016 in close partnership with the council. The partnership has been a huge success and during the past year business levels have increased significantly. Volunteers are delivering many services to the community and are helping people to access digital and online services, such as bus pass and blue badge applications.

The library also provides a home library delivery service to people who are unable to visit the library. It has recently received a grant for community transport to allow regular visits to the library for children from local schools. There are many activities and events taking place, including a jigsaw club, Scrabble club, children’s story time and a code club.

John Helliwell, secretary for Boroughbridge community library, said: “This achievement is a tribute not only to the high calibre of the trustees and volunteers, but also to a determination to make the library a first-class community facility, one of which the people of Boroughbridge and the Lower Ure Valley can be justifiably proud. Above all, our success over the past year is down to teamwork and a strong sense of joint enterprise and camaraderie.”

Boroughbridge is not the only library to be recognised by the library service. Five others have been highly commended, again for improved performance against the library service’s key indicators. These are:

County councillor Greg White, executive member for libraries, said: “Twenty-two libraries transferred to community ownership on 1 April 2017, so last year was one of huge transition for the library service. However, business levels countywide have been maintained on previous years, and in some cases improved.

“More than anything, this demonstrates the hard work of the staff and more than 2,000 volunteers across the county who have been determined to make sure a thriving, innovative library service remains active in their communities. I’m immensely proud of all that was achieved last year. Boroughbridge and BACLA are deserved winners, partly because of their increased business levels, but also for the way they are willing to share their knowledge and experience with other community libraries across the county.”

We provide a free home delivery service to people who cannot leave home, carry books or visit the library themselves because of ill health, disability or age. 

You can also receive the service on a temporary basis - perhaps when recovering from an operation - and we are also able to deliver to anyone who cannot get out and about because they are caring for somebody else.
The library can supply books in ordinary or large print and audio books on CD or cassette.

Books are selected at the library and delivered once a fortnight by volunteers. Books and audio books can also be requested free of charge.

Books and a regular visit from friendly volunteers can make a real difference to the lives of people who are ill or disabled and those who are caring for them. One of our customers described her books as "a lifeline" and another said the service "helped her stay sane during the long lonely days."

If you would like to find out more about the service please contact Northallerton library on 01609 533832 or email, or speak to staff or volunteers in the library during your visit.

There are weekly IT help surgeries at Harrogate, Knaresborough, Ripon, Boroughbridge and Nidderdale Plus libraries run by our friendly and helpful volunteer IT buddies.

The sessions provide help on anything from family history (with access to the premier family history resources on the web, Ancestry and FindMyPast), writing a CV, searching for a job, emails, shopping, to advice on staying safe online and protecting your privacy.

Harrogate library

  • There is an IT support drop-in session every Monday to Friday, 9am to 12 noon
  • There are bookable family history research sessions every Monday afternoon - get help to begin or continue researching your family history. Please contact the library to book a place.

For more information please contact Harrogate library on 01609 536658 or email

Knaresborough library

  • There is a family history research drop-in session every Monday, 10am to 12 noon
  • There is a beginners computer skills session every Wednesday, 9.30am to 11am - learn how to use a keyboard and mouse, access emails, create a document and search safely on the internet.

For more information please contact Knaresborough library on 01609 533610 or email

Ripon library

  • IT buddies one-to-one help session - every Friday morning, 10.30am to 12 noon
  • IT buddies one-to-one help session - every Saturday morning, 10.30am to 11.30am

For more information please contact Ripon library on 01609 536623 or email

Boroughbridge community library and resource centre

For more information please contact Boroughbridge community library and resource centre on 01609 536629 or email

  • Code Club for 9 to 11 year olds - every Monday afternoon
  • IT support for adults - every Tuesday afternoon, 2pm to 4pm

Nidderdale Plus community library

  • IT support drop-in session - every Monday afternoon, 1pm to 5pm

For more information please contact Nidderdale Plus community library on 01423 714953 or email

All sessions are free but contact the relevant library to reserve your place on bookable events.

There are weekly IT help surgeries at Skipton, Grassington and South Craven libraries run by our friendly and helpful volunteer IT buddies.

The sessions provide help on anything from family history (with access to the premier family history resources on the web, Ancestry and FindMyPast), writing a CV, searching for a job, emails, shopping, to advice on staying safe online and protecting your privacy.

Skipton library

  • Mondays, 12 noon to 4pm
  • Thursdays, 10am to 1pm and 2pm to 4pm
  • Fridays, 11am to 1pm
  • Saturdays, 10am to 12 noon

For more information please contact Skipton library on 01609 534548 or email

Grassington hub and community library

  • Fridays, 1.30pm to 3.30pm

For more information please contact Grassington hub and community library on 01756 752222 or email

South Craven community library

  • Thursdays, 2pm to 4pm (general advice plus help with CVs and searching for a job from an expert volunteer)
  • Saturdays, 10.40am to 11.40am

For more information please contact South Craven community library on 01609 534502 or email

Appointments are free but must be booked in advance with the relevant library.

Ingleton and Bentham libraries hold free drop-in weekly advice sessions for help with any computer related problems. They can also provide more formal tutor lead support if required.

Ingleton library

  • Mondays, 10am to 12 noon

For more information please contact Ingleton library on 01609 534504 or email

Bentham community library

  • Tuesdays, 1.30pm to 4.30pm (except the second Tuesday of the month)
  • Wednesday, 2.30pm to 4.30pm - a free six-week course run by Pioneer Projects from 11 October covering basic tablet and iPad skills and utility bill checker

These sessions are run by North Yorkshire Adult Learning and Skills Service.

For more information please contact Bentham community library on 01609 534533 or email

North Yorkshire libraries have more than 400 BBC micro:bits (pocket-sized codeable computers) available for children to borrow to help improve their digital skills.

All 420 were donated by Micro:bit Educational Foundation as part of a worldwide drive to encourage children to get creative with technology and gain digital skills in clubs, schools and at home. They can be used for all sorts of digital creations, from games to robots to musical instruments.

The micro:bits can be borrowed for free for up to three weeks with a library card and come with instructions. They have built-in displays, programmable buttons, motion detection, temperature and light sensors and can be programmed via any desktop or laptop computer or can be used with mobile phones or tablets using Bluetooth. Coding can be done using a choice of editors, including Python and JavaScript Blocks.

Many libraries already run coding clubs, supported by volunteers. Contact your local library to see whether a club is available near you. If anyone would like to volunteer to run a code club, talk to your local library or visit for more information.