National award presented to Harrogate library

This story was published 23 July 2019

Volunteers and staff at Harrogate library gathered to receive their national trophy as the Library of the Year in The Bookseller magazine’s annual awards.

Benedicte Page presents the award to library supervisor Abigail Tanner with Fraser Hutchinson of the Reading Agency and staff and volunteers from Harrogate library and local authors

Harrogate library is the busiest in North Yorkshire, with visitor numbers rising, and was recognised by the judges for its strong programme of events, which appeal to all readers.

“Harrogate is a powerhouse in its community and a great hub for books and reading,” said the judges. “The library offers an attractive array of courses and opportunities for interest groups to meet and, at the same time, combines with a local theatre and a bookshop to help promote its service as a real venue for access to literature.”

The Bookseller’s deputy editor, Benedicte Page, visited the library last week to present the award.

She said: “Many congratulations to Harrogate Library, which takes this year's crown as our Library of the Year. Its energetic approach and packed programme has seen it become a real centre of the community, with a strong track record across the board: with children, with older teenagers, experienced adult readers and library newcomers alike.”

North Yorkshire County Councillor Greg White, Executive Member for Libraries, said: “Libraries in North Yorkshire are always willing to try new things, and nowhere more so than in Harrogate where staff and volunteers have visited schools, pre-school groups, food banks, supermarkets and churches to promote the library and recruit members.

“I congratulate all the dedicated staff and volunteers on winning this award. Their hard work makes it possible to run an exciting library with activities ranging from coding workshops to choir performances. Harrogate offers much more than traditional library services and has brought a lot more people in as a result. Once people realise what it has to offer they keep coming back.”

The award is run in partnership with charity The Reading Agency.