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


In May, libraries join together during local and Community History Month following this year's theme, 'Then and Now'. They will reflect on North Yorkshire's long and interesting history of places, people and events.

Harrogate library

A First World War exhibition throughout May.

This exhibition is centred around the men named on the war memorial at St Wilfrid's Church in Harrogate will be on display throughout May.

Free one hour sessions with a family history expert on Mondays.

The times of this event are 1pm to 2pm, 2pm to 3pm or 3pm to 4pm and these slots are bookable.

A selection of 'Then and Now' photographs by local studies volunteers will be displayed.

Ripon library

'Then and Now' exhibition on until 31 May.

This event focusses on how streets, buildings and businesses in the centre of Ripon have changed and developed over the last 100 to 150 years. There will also be photographs and exhibition panels from the Ripon Reviewed Project.

Ripon remembers fields of mud, seeds of hope and silhouette soldiers on Thursday 30 May, 7pm.

Join local artists Dan Metcalfe and Joseph Priestley. Find out about Ripon's history to commemorate 100 years since the end of the First World War.

Help with tracing your family history on Fridays, 2pm to 5pm.

Booking is required for this event.

Bilton and Woodfield community library

A range of old maps and photographs of local interest will be on display.

Come along and have a chat about the local history on Friday May 31, 10am to 12 noon.

Members of Bilton Historical Society will be at the library. You can drop-in to see what information is held and have a chat about local history.

Northallerton Library

'Then and Now' exhibition on 1 May to 31 May.

A display will feature three historic gardens in Hambleton. The three gardens; Rounton Grange, Wood End and Kirby Fleetham, have been researched as part of a larger project undertaken by the Yorkshire Gardens Trust in the Hambleton District. The project aims to research and record locally significant historic designed landscapes.

Family history IT support sessions on Fridays from 10am to 12 noon.

Booking is required for this event.

Display of former Northallerton prison site.

There will be a display of photographs showing the ages including information featuring the former Northallerton prison site. In partnership with Hambleton District Council there will be a number of important milestones for the prison on display.

Richmond library

The Cook memorial garden exhibition display from Monday 20 May.

This exhibition will display archaeological work that took place in Captain Cook’s Memorial garden in Great Ayton. There will also be an insight and information to the Cook family cottage available.

The Globe Library, Stokesley

There will be a 'Then and Now' display by The Stokesley History Society.

Sherburn Library

Just a click away

This event includes displays showcasing the local history of Sherburn includung Towton and Barkston Ash. 'Then and Now' photographs with written detail by Sherburn and Saxton Local History Groups. Come along and learn of research done by Sherburn Library’s Ancestry Group plus a range of interesting activities.

Whitby Library

Whitby library is holding a local history display from our Archive Explorer volunteers in partnership with County Record Office.

Scarborough Library

Scarborough library is holding a 'Now and Then' photographic display.

Local history themed drop-ins with craft event and stories on Saturday 25 May until Saturday 1 June.

Malton Library

Come along to Woodham’s stone collection mini exhibition.

Pickering library

There will a display of objects from the past, loaned by Beck Isle Museum. Enjoy a 'Then and Now' photographic display.

Kirkbymoorside library

Come along to a 'Then and Now' display by Kirkbymoorside local history group.

The next in a series of community drop in sessions for residents of Ripon is on 31 May at Ripon Library.

Working through the My Neighbourhood Project, officers from North Yorkshire Police will be on hand at these informal sessions.

Representatives from other organisations attending on 31 May include MIND, Prostate UK, Ripon and Rural Befriending and Age UK Veteran’s Support.

They are encouraging people to drop in for a chat so that they can offer support, answer queries and give advice on any issues residents may want to raise.

A further session at Ripon Library will be held on Friday, 5 July from 10am to 11.30am.

For more information about these events please contact North Yorkshire Police using the non emergency number 101 or Ripon Library on 01609 536623.

Bookstart Bear Story-time on Fridays. 11am to 11.30am

Join our resident story-tellers as they share their favourite stories and crafts for under 5’s.

Knit and Natter every Thursday, 1pm to 3pm

Meet our friendly crafters and learn a new skill.

Ryedale Citizen’s Advice Drop-in Sessions on Tuesdays, 10am to 12.30pm

Free confidential information and advice to assist you with money, legal, consumer and benefit queries.

Horton Housing Drop-in Session on Tuesdays, 1.30pm to 3.30pm

Free advice on housing related issues. Part of North Yorkshire’s Homeless Prevention Service.

Community Banking Sessions on Tuesdays and Fridays, 10am to 1pm

Drop-in advice sessions with Liam from NatWest who will answer any queries you have about staying safe and secure when banking online.

May is Local History Month

Find out more about the history of Pickering and Thornton-le-Dale during May with our photographic displays from Thornton-le-Dale History Society and Pickering Past and Present.

Virtual Reality Morning on Thursday 30 May,10am to 1pm

Free digital fun for all ages. Drop in and try our virtual reality goggles, raspberry pi’s and code-a-pillar.

For further information about any of these sessions, and to ensure they are running, please contact Pickering library on 01609 533624 or email

Harrogate library is inviting aspiring authors and coders to get involved in a series of free courses. 

Writing course 

A four-week writing course for new writers throughout May and June. The workshops are:

  • 'Healthy writing goals' on Saturday 18 May, from 2pm;
  • 'Creating a book people want to read' on Saturday 25 May, from 2pm;
  • 'Getting your book out there' on Saturday 1 June, from 2pm; and
  • 'Connecting with your readers' on Saturday 8 June, from 2pm

Coding course 

A six-week adult coding course starting on Thursday 23 May, from 10.30am. The interactive course is aimed at beginners to develop their skills over a number of weeks. The course is free and will take place at the same time every Thursday. To book, please call 01609 536658.

Harrogate library

A comic workshop on Wednesday 29 May, from 10.30am. Join Regie from Destination Venus Comic Shop to get tips on how to design great comics. For children aged eight and over. Tickets are £2. To book please call 01609 536658.

Come to Ripon Library throughout May to see exhibitions by the following artists/groups:

  • Ripon Community Link Walled Garden – display of artworks;
  • John Cockshaw – exhibition of paintings;
  • Christine Maclean – photographic items on display and for sale; and
  • Jennyruth Workshops – exhibition of works.


Stories and Rhymes for under 5s at Settle Community Library

Stories and Rhymes for under 5s are on offer at Settle Community Library on 4 June between 2pm and 2.30pm. For more information contact or telephone 01609 534535.

Pyjama Party Storytime at Skipton Library

It's Pyjama Party Storytime at Skipton Library on 7 June from 2pm to 2.30pm. The library is inviting children to attend in their pyjamas and bring a toy or teddy to be left overnight for a 'sleepover'. Children will then be asked to call back on Saturday to collect their toy which will receive a special 'I had a Sleepover In Skipton Library' certificate. For more information call 01609 534548

Pyjamarama at Ripon Library

Bedtime stories will be the theme at Ripon Library on 7 June. The event takes place between 5.30pm and 7pm and is for children aged up to seven-years-old. For more details contact 01609 536623 or email

Pyjamarama Bedtime Stories at South Craven Community Library

Bedtime stories will be read to under-5s at South Craven Community Library on 7 June between 2.30pm and 3pm. For more details contact 01609 534502 or email

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Storytime at Ripon Walled Garden

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Storytime event will be held at Ripon Walled Garden, Ripon between 11am and 12pm on 14 June. 



Other news stories and events

Libraries in Craven are piloting a scheme that offers bags of support for people’s health and wellbeing.

Wellbeing bags contain resources such as self-help books, colouring books, recipes, puzzles, a relaxation CD and health information and advice to encourage people to look after themselves and enhance their mental wellbeing.

Anyone can borrow a Wellbeing Bag free for three weeks using their library card. The bags can be used by individuals or groups at home, in the library or in the community. For example, several people could work together on a jigsaw, promoting social interaction.

The bags were developed through a Dragon’s Den-style exercise among North Yorkshire County Council library service staff members, who were asked to devise innovative ideas to improve the service, with the best going before a panel of county councillors and officers. Wellbeing bags have been developed by outreach librarians Catherine Barlow and Alison Wheat, supported by colleagues.

The bags have been trialled in Craven libraries, following a launch at Skipton library, and are now available on request at all local libraries.

Volunteers and staff from 12 of North Yorkshire’s libraries have received awards for their contribution to this year’s Summer Reading Challenge, which attracted nearly 10,000 children.

The annual challenge takes place in libraries across the country and North Yorkshire’s success attracted the attention of the Reading Agency, which coordinates the scheme nationally. The agency was keen to find out how the county’s libraries managed to encourage so many children to complete the challenge.

The scheme encourages children to read six books over the summer holidays, collecting rewards along the way. This year the theme was Mischief Makers, with the Beano’s Dennis the Menace and Gnasher being a big hit with children.

In North Yorkshire, 9,650 children started the challenge, with 82 per cent competing it. Across the Yorkshire and Humber region, 41,709 children took part, with North Yorkshire’s children making up 23 per cent of that total.

North Yorkshire far outstripped the national average of 58 per cent for children completing the challenge.

A group of art students from Caedmon College in Whitby have added a glorious splash of colour to the outside of the town’s library.

The students were keen to help the library reach new audiences, particularly younger people, so with the permission of their tutors they demonstrated their artistic skills by creating a mural at the library to attract visitors. The art puts a twist on traditional tales and has had passers-by intrigued.

The work is part of a regional festival called Reading Pictures: Seeing Stories, which sees libraries across North Yorkshire celebrating children’s book illustration in a series of events and workshops in which artists, book illustrators and cartoonists have been inspiring young people and families.

Caedmon College art teacher Zoe Brown said: “It is quite rare for art students of this age to get the opportunity to work on a real life art brief and for that we would like to thank Whitby library. The experience has been extremely positive and has given the students a real insight into the demands and rigor of team working and time management. The students have enjoyed the freedom and spontaneity provided by the brief and working on such a large scale has helped to build their confidence and inspired many of them to experiment with large scale work in the future.”

Student Pippa Mesley said: “It has been really interesting producing these boards, as we were able to create our own interpretations of classic fairy tales and the whole design process allowed us to step away from structure and take it in our own direction. It has also been really engaging working on a larger scale. This has given me a chance to experiment with enlarging my work, and trying a slightly different style.”

And fellow student Emma Parker added: “Creating these boards has been both an exciting and eye-opening experience, allowing me to widen my art skills and develop a better understanding of how important teamwork is in the world of work.”

Whitby traders supported the mural by supplying materials. Library staff and volunteers thanked AGI DIY for the donation of paint and MKM building merchants for the supply of timber.

For more information please contact Whitby library on 01609 534350 or email

The winners of North Yorkshire library service's photographic competition have been announced. Photographers from across the county were asked to capture the beauty and diversity of a North Yorkshire summer and over 100 of them took up their cameras and ventured out.

Over 350 entries covered North Yorkshire in all its guises, from coast to moors, rolling farmland, dramatic landscapes, historic towns and villages, wildlife and nature.

The standard of the entries was very high and the judging panel deliberated long and hard to whittle the entries down to a final shortlist of ten before agreeing the six images to adorn a limited edition set of North Yorkshire library cards.

The limited edition cards are now available from North Yorkshire libraries to anyone joining the library. Existing members can request the cards, but there will be a small charge.

The winning photographs were:

Filey Beach - Tracey Roberts

Homeward Bound, Whitby - Gary Marriner

Kilburn White Horse - Keith Harris

Moorland Swaledale Ewe - Roger Nelson

Near Bolton Abbey - Colin Hurworth

Sunset Through Knaresborough Viaduct - Melanie Riley

Congratulations to the winners and thank you to all those who took part.

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 nine 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)

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.



Ripon, Harrogate and Knaresborough libraries hold free drop-in sessions for those wanting information and advice about diabetes. 

Ripon library

  • First Thursday of every month, 1pm-2pm 
  • Friday 29 March, 10am-11.30am (part of My Neighbourhood session) 
  • Friday 3 May, 10am-11.30am (part of My Neighbourhood session) 

For more information please call 01609 534543 or email

Harrogate library 

  • First Monday of every month, 1pm-2pm 

For more information please call 01609 536658 or email

Knaresborough library

  • First Wednesday of every month, 1pm-2pm

For more information please call 01609 533610 or email