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

July

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.”

The following events will take place at Whitby library as part of the Cook 250 festival, a celebration of the 250th anniversary of the explorer’s first expedition to the South Seas in 1768.

Encounters - 7 July to 24 August

An exhibition exploring the scientific and artistic impacts of James Cook’s first Pacific voyage and the shared histories of encounter between Cook and the Peoples of the Pacific, featuring the work of Fiona MacDonald: Feral Practice and Ahilapalapa Rands.

Saturday 7 July

11am to 11.45am - Meet the Author: Natasha Pulley

A talk by award-winning, international bestselling author of 'The Watchmaker of Filigree Street' and 'The Bedlam Stacks', Natasha Pulley draws on her extensive historical research and interest in speculative futures to describe her fascination with exploration and a history of possibilities. For Invisible Dust, Natasha presents a talk about how a trip to London with seven young people from Whitby and four days aboard the tall ship, Atyla, fit into her current research about a lighthouse-keeper working for the captain of a battleship during the Napoleonic Wars. Places for this talk are limited so booking is essential.

10am to 12 noon - drop-in and explore The Oceanic Reading Room with Ahilapalapa Rands (refreshments provided)

In The Oceanic Reading Room, New Zealand artist Ahilapalapa Rands introduces us to ways in which knowledge and learning is gathered and shared by some of the indigenous peoples from the Pacific Islands.

10am to 12 noon - Many Hands drop-in art workshop with Invisible Dust (for all the family)

Our hands connect us to the natural world. They allow us to experience and explore it through touch. Historically, they have been integral to our discovery and documentation of the natural world. But what happens when the natural world changes, alters, or disappears? Natural history collections that date back to the time of Cook’s voyage inform our understanding of nature, especially how it has changed, and these changes alter how we experience and handle nature today. In this art-workshop, we will be doing portrait photography, crafting hand-shaped trinkets, and writing environmental pledges to take home as a reminder and souvenir.

10am to 12 noon and 1pm to 3pm - Archive Explorers: Riding the Waves of Discovery! and North Yorkshire County Records Office 

A journey into Whitby’s past and the natural world using unique archive material from North Yorkshire County Records Office. Volunteers from Whitby and Great Ayton libraries will also be creating an exhibition to set the scene - exploring art and the natural sciences and Whitby in the time of Cook - drawing on original archive material from North Yorkshire County Records Office.

1pm to 1.45pm - Meet the Artist: Ahilapalapa Rands

A talk by the New Zealand artist about The Oceanic Reading Room, shared histories and different viewpoints. Places for this talk are limited so booking is essential.

2.30pm to 3.15pm - Meet the Artist: Fiona MacDonald: Feral Practice

A talk about Plant Hunting and what Whitby has taught her about the natural world. Places for this talk are limited so booking is essential.

Fiona’s artwork, Plant Hunting, represents plants that can be found in Whitby, but were originally brought back from the Pacific, through Cook’s voyage and similar expeditions. The plants are represented by Fiona in drawings, paintings and also in sound recordings of various people speaking about the plants. The work is inspired by botanists Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander, and artist Sydney Parkinson, who were all on board the first Endeavour voyage.

5pm to 6pm - James Cook: The Voyages at the British Library with Dr William Frame, British Library 

Described as 'a remarkable exhibition' (Sir David Attenborough) and an 'eye-opening record of colliding worlds' (The Guardian), join Dr William Frame, curator of the British Library’s major exhibition on James Cook, for a behind-the-scenes look at some of the remarkable objects in the collection. Tickets for this event cost £3.

Sunday 8 July

11am to 1pm - drop in and discover more about Archive Explorers: Riding the Waves of Discovery! and North Yorkshire County Records Office

A journey into Whitby’s past and the natural world using unique archive material from North Yorkshire County Records Office. Volunteers from Whitby and Great Ayton libraries will also be creating an exhibition to set the scene - exploring art and the natural sciences and Whitby in the time of Cook - drawing on original archive material from North Yorkshire County Records Office.

11am to 1pm - We’re Going on a Plant Hunt!

Drop-in art workshop with artist Fiona MacDonald (for all the family).

11am to 1pm - drop in and explore The Oceanic Reading Room with Ahilapalapa Rands (refreshments provided)

In The Oceanic Reading Room, New Zealand artist Ahilapalapa Rands introduces us to ways in which knowledge and learning is gathered and shared by some of the indigenous peoples from the Pacific Islands. 

1.30pm to 2.30pm - Cooking up a Storm: Finding James Cook, a Journey Through Time

Seven young people from Whitby are experiencing a unique research trip to London and will be sailing back to Whitby on the tall ship, Atyla. Returning fresh from the journey of a lifetime, they will recount their fascinating journey and findings, with artist Fiona MacDonald: Feral Practice and writer, Natasha Pulley. Places for this talk are limited so booking is essential.

For more information and to book a place, please contact Whitby library on 01609 534350 or email whitby.library@northyorks.gov.uk. All events are free unless otherwise stated.

Whitby library is inviting local people to delve into the art and science of Captain James Cook as part of the Cook 250 festival, a celebration of the 250th anniversary of the explorer’s first expedition to the South Seas in 1768.

The library service successfully applied for £37,610 from the Arts Council to fund a series of projects culminating in an exhibition at the library to contribute to the July festival, which is organised by Scarborough Borough Council and local groups.

The work will be delivered in partnership with Scarborough-based art and science organisation Invisible Dust, the County Record Office and volunteers from Whitby and Great Ayton libraries. The work with Invisible Dust will uncover the role of celebrated botanist Joseph Banks and artist Sydney Parkinson, who travelled with Cook to collect and document plants and animals.

New artworks developed with local people will form an exhibition at Whitby library as part of the Cook 250 festival from 6 to 8 July.

Whitby is at the heart of the Cook story. He trained as an apprentice and learned seafaring and navigation skills with a local Quaker family in what is now the Cook Memorial Museum building and his ship, the Endeavour, was built in Whitby.

Artists Fiona Macdonald and Ahilapalapa Rands and bestselling writer Natasha Pulley, author of The Watchmaker of Filigree Street, will work with library volunteers, the County Record Office, Whitby Naturalists, young people from Caedmon College, Eskdale School and Whitby Fishing School and the public to create new works that explore the scientific impact of Cook’s expedition.

Library volunteers will tap into the expertise and resources of the County Record Office to develop an exhibition on the theme of the art and science of Cook’s voyage.

Just before the exhibition, seven young people from Whitby will echo the experience of the explorers and travel with Fiona Macdonald and Natasha Pulley from London to Whitby on a tall ship. Before sailing, they will investigate the art and science of the Cook story through visiting the Cook exhibition at the British Library, the Royal Society and the Natural History Museum.

For more information please contact Whitby library on 01609 534350 or email whitby.library@northyorks.gov.uk.

North Yorkshire libraries are looking for enthusiastic young people aged between 13 and 24 to help to run Mischief Makers, this year’s Summer Reading Challenge.

Every year, thousands of children flock to their library to take part in this national scheme and libraries need young volunteers to help.

The Summer Reading Challenge, which is organised by the Reading Agency, is a North Yorkshire success story. More than 10,000 children are expected to participate this year. By taking part as a volunteer, you will help to open the door to even more children becoming enthusiastic readers and will gain valuable skills and experience for your personal statement or CV.

Volunteers will be involved in registering children for the challenge, helping them to choose books, talking to them about the books they have read and assisting with library events. Volunteers will receive a free volunteer pack, which will include a t-shirt and a certificate.

The Mischief Makers theme of this year’s challenge is inspired by the 80th anniversary of the much-loved comic, the Beano. The publication will bring its unique brand of humour to the Summer Reading Challenge to help celebrate reading, creativity, friendship and fun as children explore a map of Beanotown to find mysterious buried treasure and become ultimate mischief makers.

To find out about volunteering opportunities at your local library, visit the library, email libraries@northyorks.gov.uk or see our library volunteers page. Please apply before the start of the challenge on 14 July.

Children aged between four and 11 will be able to sign up from 14 July to take the challenge of reading at least six library books of their choice, collecting stickers and other incentives along the way. For more information, visit www.summerreadingchallenge.org.uk.

The library service has welcomed a move that extends compensation to authors for loaning their works for free from public libraries to e-lending.

From 1 July, the government’s Public Lending Right Scheme will cover e-books and e-audiobooks that are loaned from public libraries across Great Britain. The change means authors are eligible for payment from a government fund whether their works are borrowed electronically or as physical books. 

North Yorkshire libraries made e-books and e-audio books available to members in 2010 and recorded just 4,000 issues that first year. Since then, the number of people using the service and the number of titles available has risen dramatically. Last year saw North Yorkshire issue more than 104,000 e-books and e-audio books, nearly 9,000 each month. Users of the service now have nearly 20,000 titles to choose from covering fiction, non-fiction and children’s books. Their popularity is growing, with more than 200 new users registering to use the service each month.

Nationally, e-lending in public libraries has risen dramatically in the past six years. Last year, more than 6,750,000 works were borrowed electronically, compared to 750,000 in 2011-12.

North Yorkshire’s digital library resources can be found here.

June

Visitors to Northallerton library will be able to enjoy an art exhibition produced by members of the Scribble Zone and Scribble Vision from 25 June to 15 July.

Scribble Zone, a youth art group, and Scribble Vision, a youth animation group, meet on a weekly basis at Northallerton library on Mondays and Wednesdays from 4pm to 5.30pm. The sessions are led by local artists and are open for young people age ten to 16. The groups are supported by Northallerton library and North Yorkshire Youth.

The free youth arts exhibition will showcase a wide range of art styles and media which have been produced by members of both groups. The exhibition will be held at the first floor gallery of the library between 25 June and 15 July.

If you would like to join Scribble Zone or Scribble Vision please come to one of the weekly sessions and speak with the artist who leads it. Scribble Zone takes place on a Monday afternoon and Scribble Vision on a Wednesday afternoon. There is a small charge for attending each session to cover cost of materials used.

If you are interested in volunteering to support the sessions please contact Richie from North Yorkshire Youth at richie@nyy.org.uk.

For more information please contact Northallerton library on 01609 533832 or email northallerton.library@northyorks.gov.uk.

From Thursday 21 June the opening hours at Catterick community library will change to:

  • Monday, 10am to 5pm
  • Tuesday, 10am to 5pm self-service only*
  • Wednesday, 10am to 7pm
  • Thursday, 10am to 1pm self-service only* then full service from 1pm to 7pm
  • Friday, 1pm to 5pm self-service only*
  • Saturday, 10am to 1pm

* self-service only means that the self-service machine will be available and items can be borrowed. Free wi-fi will also be available. However, due to classes the computers will not be available for use.

For more information please contact Catterick library on 01609 534595 or email catterick@craccl.org.

An exciting one-person show exploring the effects of kindness and cruelty will tour North Yorkshire libraries during June and July.

Poet and performer Andy Craven-Griffiths ran workshops in libraries earlier in the year to gather stories of kindness from people of all ages and invited people to share their experiences online at www.joygernaut.com. Those stories have informed the writing of an interactive, one-person show exploring kindness and cruelty, their effects and our ability to choose.

Andy said: “We are increasingly sold the idea of our own individuality and importance. The aim of the game is to be the most beautiful, to have the biggest TV, to get the most likes and retweets, to eat the fanciest foods and to wear the most expensive and fashionable clothes. In all cases, to win for ourselves as separate individuals, that that’s how you get happy. But what if it’s not? What if the way to a better life is kindness?”

Using research into the biology, sociology and psychology of kindness, Joygernaut offers us a view of ourselves as better. As less the Black Friday sales brawler trampling people for a cheap TV, more the teenager giving up a bus seat for a pregnant woman. Less the drugs cheat Olympian, more the Brownlee brothers helping each other over the finish line. The play tells the story of how one person’s view shifts through unexpected trauma, generosity and forgiveness.

Andy has performed his writing extensively on stage (Leeds Festival, Latitude, Secret Garden Party), but has also had his poetry broadcast (Radio 1, Radio 4, BBC2) and printed in poetry journals. In 2016, he was one of Radio 3’s Verb New Voices. Currently, he is writing a play as part of Curve Theatre’s WritersLab and working on a book of poetry for children. 

Performances of Joygernaut will take place at 7pm at the following venues:

Tickets can be booked via www.facebook.com/joygernaut or by visiting the relevant library. Payment is "pay what you decide" on the night.

Other news stories and events

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 northallerton.library@northyorks.gov.uk, 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 harrogate.library@northyorks.gov.uk.

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 knaresborough.library@northyorks.gov.uk.

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 ripon.library@northyorks.gov.uk.

Boroughbridge community library and resource centre

For more information please contact Boroughbridge community library and resource centre on 01609 536629 or email contact@boroughbridgelibrary.org.uk

  • 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 admin@nidderdaleplus.org.

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 skipton.library@northyorks.gov.uk.

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 enquiries@grassingtonhub.com

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 enquiries@sccls.org.uk

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 communitylibraryingleton@outlook.com

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 library@pioneerprojects.org.uk.

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 www.codeclub.org.uk/start-a-club/volunteers for more information.

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