Welcome to Libraries Week 2022. Libraries Week is an annual celebration of all things library-related that in 2022 runs between Monday 3rd October and Sunday 9th October. It’s an opportunity to showcase and celebrate all that your library has to offer so in our blog today, we’re going to do just that!

Each year, there is a theme to Libraries Week – this year, that’s ‘Never Stop Learning’. Whether you’re a new parent with a new baby, you have a toddler learning to read, a young person needing help with homework, college work or university essays, or you’re looking to learn a new skill, language or expand your knowledge of a particular subject, your local Warwickshire Library can help.

It’s free to join Warwickshire Libraries. You can find out about joining, or join online here and you can find out about our locations, opening times and offers at each library on our ‘Find a Library’ page.

Never Stop Learning – whatever your age

Information and Online Resources

As a Warwickshire Library member, your Library Card gives you access to a huge amount of information from subscription and other high quality information sources. You can access The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, The Times Digital Archive as well as Encyclopedia Britannica and Oxford Research Encyclopedias, a collection of peer-reviewed articles from Oxford University Press to name a few.

You can find out about all the resources your Warwickshire Library Card can unlock on our eInformation page here.

You can also access eNewspapers and eMagazines with your Library Card and our entire BorrowBox collection too.

Using Press Reader, you can keep up to date with all the latest news from the UK and throughout the world, and the Libby app provides access to eMagazines on many subjects from cookery to history, cars to crafts and lots in between.

For some relaxation, you can also use your Library Card to access Naxos – a classical music streaming service and if you’re learning to drive, explore Theory Test Pro to get in some practice. You can also find links to other useful websites including The Living Knowledge Network and its archive programme of unique cultural events featuring literary icons, academics, artists, activists and other luminaries and Fantastic Fiction for when you need to pick your next read.

If you’re not too confident using such online resources, we can help too – our libraries offer IT Help sessions or you can email us to arrange some Digital Library help.

Warwickshire Local Studies

Interested in learning more about Warwickshire? If so, our Local Studies Collections are what you need. We collect and make available, information about Warwickshire and its people, buildings and countryside.

The largest range of material relating to the county as a whole, the Warwickshire Collection is held at Nuneaton Library. The collection aims to gather all titles published on Warwickshire and its communities, places and people and holds approximately 25,000 items in total, including books, photographs and illustrations, directories, journals and The George Eliot Collection.

You can search the library catalogue for titles and to view items from the Warwickshire Collection please contact us, in advance, to make an appointment to visit. You can also find smaller, local collections in many of our libraries too, along with Census returns, parish registers and newspapers.

Read more about our Local Studies Collections here.

Learning a New Language

If you’re thinking about learning a new language, you can find resources to help you in our library collections. You’ll find bilingual dictionaries available online on our eInformation page, as well as access to Duolingo. In our BorrowBox collection, you can find a variety of resources to help you become fluent – from quick fire courses such as Essential Japanese in Two Hours with Paul Noble to short stories written in a variety of languages.

You’ll also find books in languages other than English on our library shelves. You can explore which languages are available on our library catalogue here. Press Reader also provides access to a number of newspapers from around the globe.

Learning a New Skill or Expanding Your Knowledge

Whether you’ve decided to get crafty this year and learn how to sew/knit/make jewellery/whittle or whether you’d like to learn more about trees, about the French Revolution or about the universe, you’ll find books on our library shelves to help.

Here are a few we love….

Paint, Make and Create by Becki Clark

Make Your Own Silver Jewellery by Monica Weber-Butler

How To Whittle by Josh Nava

The Tree In My Garden by Kate Bradbury

The French Revolution and What Went Wrong by Stephen Clark

The Invisible Universe: Why There’s More To Reality Than Meets The Eye by Matthew Bothwell

Music and Drama Collection

If music or drama is more your area of interest, the largest collection of music scores, play scripts and books on all aspects of music and drama is held at Nuneaton Library, in our Music and Drama collection. Specialist help and advice is available from the Music and Drama Librarian.

Find out more on our Music and Drama page here, including how you can obtain a group membership to borrow play sets and orchestral sets.

Libraries for Children

All Warwickshire Libraries provide a safe, family-friendly environment. Joining the library is free and children can join from birth. We have Rhyme Time session in many of our libraries, aimed at 0-2 year olds and their parents/carers. The sessions feature songs and rhymes, from old favourites to new tunes and can help with language development, socialisation and give parents/carers an opportunity to see other parents/carers in a friendly environment. We also have lots of books, from board books to picture books to share with the little people in your life!

You can find more about the sessions, their benefits and tips for reading with your child here and find out what is happening where on our Events & Activities for Children page.

As children grow and start to learn to read, your library also has plenty of titles to choose from to help support and expand their reading vocabularies. Explore our Children’s Library page to find out more about the collections we have.

Although, unlike schools, we don’t have a formal reading scheme, we do have many many engaging titles to help your child read with confidence, arranged in three colour bands to help them progress. Look out for a blue sticker for perfect first reading books for very beginners with simple sentences and phonics. It’s a yellow sticker for titles for emerging readers that are perfect for reading out loud together and it’s a green sticker for engaging first chapter books that are perfect for solo reading and for gaining more confidence.

Make sure you also check out our Reading Rocks Collection of high-interest books, specifically curated to tempt and encourage children to read!

We know that choice is essential for children’s reading for pleasure and this collection has a wide choice of subjects and formats to make it attractive and accessible to young readers.

You can also find resources to help with Homework throughout the school year – Encyclopedia Britannica can provide information on many school topics at three levels – Junior, Student and Adult. You’ll find images, videos as well or explore our Homework Help page for more.

Throughout the year, our libraries also host activities for children – from craft and story sessions to the Summer Reading Challenge.

Visit your nearest Warwickshire Library to find out what’s on.

Libraries for Adults

We don’t forget grown ups with our activities either – lots of our libraries hold sessions ranging from reading groups to local interest talks, coffee mornings to crafternoon meet-ups. You don’t need to be a member to join in with our activities (although don’t forget, it is free to join and there’s lots of benefits!) and most are free to come along to too.

You can find out what’s happening near you on our Activities and Events for Adults page.

If you’re already a member of a reading group, did you know we have a Reading Group Collection that’s free to join? With nearly 300 titles to choose from, your group can select a title each month for you all to read and discuss. Find out more about how to get a Reading Group Library Card and how it all works by either popping into your local Warwickshire Library or exploring our pages online on our website and library catalogue page.

And, of course, don’t forget if you’re looking for your next great read, our library shelves and BorrowBox collection have lots to choose from!

Health and Wellbeing

Never Stop Learning can also mean never stopping learning about how to keep ourselves fit and healthy, both physically and mentally. Our Health and Wellbeing page provides links to local and national wellbeing organisations and information about the five Reading Well Collections you’ll find available in our libraries – Mental Health, Long Term Conditions, Dementia, Reading Well for Children and Shelf Help for Young Adults.

You’ll also find suggested reading lists on the topic of Loneliness on our Health and Wellbeing page, along with topics such as the menopause, bereavement and grief and some reading suggestions for uplifting fiction.

Books about Libraries

We couldn’t end a Libraries Week blog without featuring a few of our favourite libraries from fiction and non-fiction to inspire you to get reading this Libraries Week.

The Library: A Fragile History by Andrew Pettegree and Arthur der Weduwen

Explore the contested and dramatic history of the library, from the famous collections of the ancient world to the embattled public resources we cherish today. Meet the antiquarians and philanthropists who shaped the world’s great collections, trace the rise and fall of fashions and tastes, and reveal the high crimes and misdemeanours committed in pursuit of rare and valuable manuscripts.

An English Library Journey, With Detours to Wales and Northern Ireland by John Bevis

John Bevis is a writer and book-lover on an eccentric quest: to obtain a membership card from every library authority in England. In a ten-year mission criss-crossing the country – from Solihull to Slough, from Cleveland to Cornwall – he enrols at libraries of all shapes and sizes: monuments to Art Deco or Brutalism; a converted corset factory; one even shaped like a pork pie.

With the architectural eye of Pevsner and the eavesdropping ear of Bill Bryson, he engages us at every step with anecdotes and apercus about the role of the public library in our national life, while ruing its decline in the age of austerity. As interested in the people he finds as he is in the buildings and their history, he is a humane, witty and erudite guide. The result is a book to be treasured by anyone who has ever used a library.

The Library by Bella Osborne

Tom is a teenager and blends into the background of life. After a row with his dad, and facing an unhappy future at the dog food factory, he escapes to the library. Tom unwittingly ends up with a bagful of romance novels and comes under the suspicion of Maggie. Maggie is a pensioner and has been happily alone for ten years, at least that’s what she tells herself. When Tom comes to her rescue a friendship develops that could change her life.

As Maggie helps Tom to stand up for himself, Tom helps Maggie realise the mistakes of her past don’t have to define her future. They each set out to prove that the library isn’t just about books – it’s the heart of their community. Together they discover some things are worth fighting for.

The Last Library by Freya Sampson

Library assistant June knows a lot about the regulars at Chalcot Library, yet they know very little about her. When her mum – the beloved local librarian – passed away eight years ago, June stepped into her shoes. But despite their shared love of books, shy June has never felt she can live up to the village’s memory of her mum. Instead, she’s retreated into herself and her memories, surviving on Chinese takeaways-for-one and rereading their favourite books at home.

When the library is threatened with closure, a ragtag band of eccentric locals establish the Friends of Chalcot Library campaign. There’s gentlemanly pensioner Stanley, who visits the library for the computers and the crosswords, cantankerous Mrs B, who is yet to find a book she approves of, and teenager Chantal, who just wants a quiet place to study away from home. But can they compel reclusive June to join their cause?

If June wants to save the library, she finally has to make some changes to her life: opening up her heart to friendship, opportunities and maybe even more . . 

The Dragon in The Library by Louie Stowell

Kit can’t stand reading, She’d much rather be outside, playing games and getting muddy, than stuck inside with a book. But when she’s dragged along to the library one day by her two best friends, she makes an incredible discovery – and soon it’s up to Kit and her friends to save the library – and the world.

Little Red Reading Hood by Lucy Rowland and illustrated by Ben Mantle

Little Red Reading Hood LOVES reading books and making up stories of her own. When she meets a cunning wolf while on her way to the library, he convinces her to stray from the path and read for a little while. But hasn’t she read this in a story before?

(If you look closely, you might recognise the library featured in this story – it’s modelled on Lillington Library)

From all of us at Warwickshire Libraries, we wish you a Happy Libraries Week! Never stop learning and we hope to see you soon!