Shelf Service

Are you anticipating some new reads this year? Is there a particular author you know won’t disappoint, or do you take a lucky dip whenever you visit the library? Whatever your literary tastes we have something for you, remember if you see a book you like the look of online we can order you a copy or reserve if it's already in stock. Just call us on 01325 349610 and we will do our very best to help.

Project hail Mary by Andy Weir (4th May)

The Martian author’s third adventure in space follows Ryland Grace, the sole survivor on a desperate, last-chance mission. Grace doesn’t remember his own name, his assignment or how to complete it, and he definitely doesn’t know that if he fails, humanity and the earth will perish. A gripping tale of survival. 

Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead (4th May)

Great Circle is the story of two women: Marian Graves and Hadley Baxter. In 1950, Marian embarks on her life’s dream, to fly around the globe. But after a crash landing, she writes one last entry in her logbook. Half a century later, troubled Hollywood starlet Hadley Baxter is irresistibly drawn to pay Marian in a film, a role that will lead her to the deepest mysteries in the vanished pilot’s life.

China room by Sunjeev Sahota (6th May)

Sunjeev Sahota, who was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 2015 with his novel The Year of the Runaways, tells a multigenerational story of love, trauma and the search for freedom in his new book. China Room follows Mehar, a young bride in rural India in 1929, trying to discover the identity of her husband while sequestered from contact with men in her family’s ‘china room’, and a young man in 1999 who travels from England to the now-deserted farm where Mehar lived.

Sorrowland by Rivers Solomon (6th May)

Rivers Solomon’s extraordinary gothic tale of metamorphosis has already received praise from Marlon James, who called it “fantastical and frightening”. At the book’s centre is Vern, a Black woman with albinism who escapes a religious compound, and discovered that her body is changing and she developing extra-sensory powers. Alone in the woods and having given birth to twins, Vern must investigate the secluded compound she fled and the violent history of dehumanisation, medical experimentation, and genocide that produced it in order to understand why she is changing.

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid (27th May)

Taylor Jenkins Reid’s first novel Daisy Jones & The Six was a tale of the rise and fall of a singer and her band. In Malibu Rising Reid takes another look at fame, fortune and family. Siblings Nina, Jay, Hud and Kit are adored and the source of much fascination in Malibu and the world, thanks to their father, legendary singer Mick Riva. In 1983, Nina holds her annual end-of-summer party, but by morning the Riva mansion has gone up in flames. What happened at the party? And what secrets are the party’s hosts and guests hiding?
For fans of Taylor Jenkins Reid this new title looks like one not to be missed!

The Waiter by Ajay Chowdhury (27 May)

Ajay Chowdhury won the inaugural Harvill Secker and Bloody Scotland BAME crime competition with The Waiter. The novel follows disgraced detective Kamil Rahman, who moves from Kolkata to London to start afresh as a waiter in an Indian restaurant. But while catering a birthday birth for his boss’ rich friend, host Rakesh is found dead and suspension falls on his new wife, Neha. Kamil finds himself drawn back into his old life, as he investigates what happened to Rakesh, with the help of his boss’ daughter Anjoli. 

Assembly by Natasha Brown (3rd June)

Natasha Brown’s debut novel is set in the competitive world of investment banking, and follows an unnamed Black British woman trying to navigate friendship, love and work. "I was trying to capture the claustrophobia of the narrator’s world, and the hostility of it – how it felt for her to exist, and to succeed, as a Black woman working in the City,” said Brown of the novel.

The mismatch by Sara Jafari (24th June)

Soraya wants to belong, but at 21 still hasn’t been kissed. When she meets Magnus, the last person she expected to fall for, she confronts her past and is able to work out her next steps. At the same time, Soraya’s mother Neda, who left Iran in the wake of the revolution, is also striving to belong. A story of romantic love, The Mismatch is also the touching tale of a mother and daughter and the sacrifices family makes. 

Any of the above taken your fancy? Get in touch for some fabulous reads!

Calling all young adult fiction fans! If you can’t get into the library to see us why not download a book using the FREE Borrowbox app. Borrowbox is always open, is easy to use and books are FREE to download!

There is more information about Borrowbox on our website here:

E-books are great for reading on the go, on your commute or on your way to school/college.

We have all of the latest books from your favourite authors, so what are you waiting for!

All you need is your phone or tablet and if you're not a library member you can join online to activate your account.

Not sure which book to read first? Here are some of our favourites!

Yes, no, maybe so is a fun romantic offering from Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed.
The two authors have crafted a resonant, funny, and memorable story about the power of love and resistance.

Jamie Goldberg is cool with volunteering for his local state senate candidate—as long as he’s behind the scenes. When it comes to speaking to strangers (or, let’s face it, speaking at all to almost anyone), Jamie’s a choke artist. There’s no way he’d ever knock on doors to ask people for their votes…until he meets Maya.

Maya Rehman’s having the worst Ramadan ever. Her best friend is too busy to hang out, her summer trip is cancelled, and now her parents are separating. Why her mother thinks the solution to her problems is political canvassing—with some awkward dude she hardly knows—is beyond her.

Going door to door isn’t exactly glamorous, but maybe it’s not the worst thing in the world. After all, the polls are getting closer—and so are Maya and Jamie. Mastering local activism is one thing. Navigating the cross-cultural romance of the century is another thing entirely. 

Wilder girls 

Described as an emotional and haunting read, Rory Power brings all the feels in this thought provoking book suitable for older teens.
Everyone loses something to the Tox; Hetty lost her eye, Reese's hand has changed, and Byatt just disappeared completely.

It’s been eighteen months since the Raxter School for Girls was put in quarantine. The Tox turned the students strange and savage, the teachers died off one by one. Cut off from the mainland, the girls don’t dare wander past the school’s fence where the Tox has made the woods wild and dangerous. They wait for the cure as the Tox takes; their bodies becoming sick and foreign, things bursting out of them, bits missing.

But when Byatt goes missing, Hetty will do anything to find her best friend, even if it means breaking quarantine and braving the horrors that lie in the wilderness past the fence. As she digs deeper, she learns disturbing truths about her school and what else is living on Raxter Island. And that the cure might not be a cure at all . . .

The deathless girls by Kiran Millwood Hargrave is a new fantasy futuristic book all about two twins Lil and Kizzy who are captured by a cruel overlord and forced to work in the castle kitchens. When Lil meets Mira, a fellow slave she learns about the dragon, a mysterious and terrifying man of myth who takes girls as gifts. 

Where your worst fears are about to come true…

It was supposed to be the perfect holiday: a week-long trip for six teenage friends on a remote tropical island.

But when their guide dies of a stroke leaving them stranded, the trip of a lifetime turns into a nightmare.

Because someone on the island knows each of the group’s worst fears. And one by one, they’re becoming a reality.

Seven days in paradise. A deadly secret.

Who will make it off the island alive?
Described as a heart-popping fast-paced page-turner, this book is packed with tension, twists and turns and is perfect for YA thriller fans.

What have you been reading lately? Do keep in touch with us here at the library and let us know what you’ve been enjoying. 

At the moment we are all finding more time on our hands and more and more of us are trying something new or looking to keep busy over lockdown.

Books rule!

We have to start with a book related challenge of course, so how about organising a competition with friends and family and see who can read the most titles over lockdown? Reading is a great way of escaping to new worlds when you have to stay where you are and it also, improves your vocabulary and memory as well as helps fuel the imagination. Can you tick off 10 books, 20 or maybe even go for the 100?! See if you can inspire others to join in the competition. Book art is a great way to share your passion for reading with others and help spread the word of new titles you’ve enjoyed. For our junior readers why not set yourself the Harry Potter challenge to read/re-read all the books before Harry Potter book day on June 29th…..can you do it?

Get some scissors, glue and paper and use old magazines to design a funky collage, who can make the funniest picture in the family?

Nature walks-

Tick off all the new discoveries you make on your daily walks and perhaps collect some natural materials to make some nature art at home. Has anyone spotted the famous Mandarin ducks at Drinkfield marsh yet? Why not reserve a nature book and see what you can tick off?

Ice sculptures-

Make time for crafts made these stunning creations when the weather turned frosty…how beautiful! Create your own designs and don’t forget to pop some string in so you can hang them up in the garden.


There are a great range of photo books you can borrow if you’ve been taking photos recently over lockdown and want to brush up on your skills. With so many opportunities to see nature than ever before why not create some albums of exploring the great outdoors, we’d love to see them!

Lockdown art

Being creative can be a great outlet at the moment and painting sketching and crafts are all fantastic ways of keeping busy over lockdown. New to art? Don’t worry we have the book for that.

Exercise and health

Being stuck in for long periods of time can be really difficult but just remember that we are all in it together. If you can get outdoors for a walk every day it’s a great way to boost your mental health. If you can’t get outside try and allow time for sitting in an outdoor space or open the window to hear the sounds of nature to soothe and calm you. There are a lot of online resources you can use to embark on a new exercise regime but also we have great titles if you fancy trying yoga, pilates and wish to gently increase your fitness levels for the new year.

Keep calm and remember the library is here to help 😊


Photos courtesy of @manicmumdayscas & Stephen Gordon.

We have some exciting news to report! Our lovely Cockerton library is celebrating it’s 50th anniversary on the 2nd September and what better way to celebrate than opening for book returns and quick pick borrowing again. We know how much you’ve been missing popping in to say hello and are so pleased we can give you some positive news.

Here is a little bit of information all about the history of the building. We would love to hear all about your memories of the place so do share your stories with us.

Cockerton Library was designed by Borough Architect Mr E.A Tornbohm and his staff, and built by Walter Thompson (Contractors) Ltd.

It was designed in a saw tooth configuration around a circle 57 ft in diameter along with bookshelves on each wall panel and natural light from 18 floor to ceiling windows and not to mention underfloor heating,  phosphor-coated mercury vapour lamps and a flat roof with an octagonal cupola. The total cost was £15,500 including furniture but excluding book stock. The official opening took place on Wednesday 2 nd September 1970 and the library opened with a stock of around 10,000 books. In that year customers could borrow a book for 14 days. Fines were 3d per week and reservations cost 6d per book.

Like many other facilities it has been closed since March due to the government-imposed lockdown, but will reopen on its special anniversary hurrah!



Throughout the day – on Wednesday 2 September, 10am-4pm - visitors will also be able to view old photographs of the library on display boards to the exterior of the building and there will be balloon modelling outside between 2pm – 4pm for children using the library.



There will also be a musician performing interpretations of songs from the 1970s 10-10.30am, 12-12.30pm and 3.15-3.45pm.

The photo display will also be available on the Darlington Library website at so feel free to check this out if you can’t come along on the day.

From Thursday 3 September the branch’s temporary opening hours will be:

Mondays, Wednesday, Fridays - 9.30am - 1pm

Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays - 1pm - 4pm

Library users can also access a wide range of eBooks and eAudio books via Darlington Library’s online services. To find out more and for details of online events/activities look at our events page here or download the Darlington Library App. You can also follow us on Facebook or on Twitter.






Take a seat and hold on tight for the Reading Rollercoaster challenge!
This summer holiday may not be the same as last year but the library team will not be defeated and we are still bringing our racing readers a challenge to encourage you to keep your noses in books while you’re off school. The reading rollercoaster challenge has zoomed into Darlington Library and is a chance for all of our young readers to get their hands on some fantastic prizes just by visiting us and borrowing books!

You could win one of two parties at the Gamers Lounge or parties at home with Make My Day Events (princess or superheroes anyone!) an annual pass to Head of Steam or a £50 Waterstones voucher. We know it’s not quite the same exciting programme of events we usually put on for you all, but we hope you’ll still enjoy getting involved and show us how you’re all superstar readers. When you’re next in the library feel free to ask and we’ll tell you all about it and how to take part. 

We would also love to find out who your favourite author is or which books have got you hooked lately! If you’d like to tell us, perhaps send us a picture of something you’d love to share with others or maybe a poem all about books and the adventures they can takes us on... please send them to or drop them into the library and we may even publish some on our blog or pop them up on display somewhere! Our children's library is all about you, so we would love to find ways of helping make it even better.

We hope to see you really soon!



First of all, a massive welcome back to our library service. The past few months have proved such a very strange and surreal time, and it’s been so very unusual for all of us in many different ways.

We have missed all our wonderful customers and even though the building has been standing quiet for some months, rest assured lots has been going on behind the scenes ready to reopen safely and Covid secure. We have opened our doors ready for quick book picking only for the time being but we will let you know of any changes as they happen. Cockerton library at the moment is open limited hours just for returning items.

Reflecting back on the time we have had away from normality (for some) we hope you managed to take positives from it, (photo of my allotment above where I spent a fair bit of time over lockdown)  and we know many of you were so grateful and happy to receive a book delivery from us (lots of thank you notes are displayed up in lending library) and your lovely comments have really boosted our morale as the staff are getting back to work and we are all getting used to the new normal. We have tried our hardest to make borrowing as easy and straight forward as we can, and we are all here to support you and help, so please don’t feel anxious about returning to our buildings once more. There are a few differences, a few more signs to look at and hand cleansing at the door. We will be helping you use self service machines to issue/return your books as much as we can and books will be quarantined for 72 hours to ensure we are meeting safe guidelines.

Most of our other services aren’t back yet, so please bear with us and we will let you know when they are. You will also notice the library staff will be sometimes wearing PPE like this, similar to what you may have seen in shops etc so don’t be alarmed if we look a little different to usual!

There is always a member of staff on hand working on the service desk for enquiries, and someone will welcome you into the building and help you at the self-service machines so please don’t feel you’re on your own. We can still request books and access your account so if you’re unsure please ask and we will do our best to help.

During lockdown our staff have been showing us what they’ve been getting up to during their free time and even though sometimes it’s been tough we are trying to remember the nicer experiences of this time. I personally have had lots of time reviewing books on social media and have joined the bookstagrammers on instagram, regularly reading books for publishers. This is something I would never have done if I hadn’t had some time to dedicate to it and I’ve met lots of like-minded book lovers which has been brilliant for me and helped keep me sane whilst juggling home schooling with three children!

It’s been fun taking photo content of the books have read and putting them in pretty displays etc to make it look enticing to the prospective readers and help promote the books for their authors.

So we are looking forward to catching up with you soon and hope you pay us a visit in the near future. Stay safe.





Keep calm and carry on from Darlington libraries!

If you're reading this blog post today you may be at home, you might be working from home instead of your usual location, or homeschooling your children.

Whatever you're doing currently, all of our library staff hope you are well and with so much going on in the world right now we hope we can help you find some positives to focus on. 

We have chatted our colleagues and found that some of us are taking up new hobbies in our spare time to stay busy and keep any anxiety we have at bay. One colleague has started knitting and gardening, another can to be found at his allotment whenever he can.

Lots of us are reading whether it's for pleasure or escapism, or planning the jobs we haven't had chance to get done around the home, some of us have pets that we can take for walks/ cuddle to alleviate stress.

Many of you may be using your time to re-read children's classics that they remember fondly, or perhaps you've discovered a new author never read before

Our home delivery service has been extremely well received by the over 60 age group, we only wish we could deliver books to all of you!

We hope normal service will resume again soon and we can all reflect on this time and see it as a period where we could focus on new projects and find our inner strength to pull us through.
In the meantime why not take on a new interest, get yourself out for a daily walk in the sunshine (whilst practicing social distancing of course) or rediscover some of those books you have always been trying to get around to reading.

We are used to speaking to lots of our users every day (it's so quiet here in the building without you all!)

Our reading challenge is still ongoing and we'd love to hear from you as to how you're getting on with it. Have you read anything lately and would like to share a review with our library members? Have you have taken on some new interests to help you with your own mental health and keep your mind active. Maybe you have a positive mantra to tell everyone about. Feel free to contact us about it and lets support each other in our reading community.
Now all thats left to say is, stay safe, keep washing those hands, and lets change our own little corner of the world however insular that seems right now, it's just as important.

Keep reading, keep smiling and if you're feeling brave try and explore new forms of communication on your tablet/device/apps or download some free digital books from Borrowbox and newpapers, e-Magazines & much more from R B Digital (more information on our website) to keep yourself in a great headspace.

Right now we may not be chatting to you as we are used to, but rest assured we are thinking about you all and wishing you well. Our library users make our service what it is, and we hope to serve you all again soon.  



Spooky tales from our town!

Here at Darlington library we are super proud of one of our colleagues for writing a book of the spooky kind! Sylvia, a library officer has always been interested in the paranormal and recently set up an online group called Supernatural Darlington as a platform for others to share their experiences too. The book is available as an e-book and for more information on how to obtain a copy contact Sylvia by email:

We caught up with her recently to find out all about it.


Sylvia can you tell us all about this new project:

The project began several years ago after setting up a group on Facebook. I was amazed when hundreds of people flocked to the site and shared their experiences. There were so many scary stories I decided I must put together a book of the best ones.  


Have you always been interested in ghosts and the supernatural?

Well, I’ve always loved a good ghost story and my childhood favourite is about the ghost of Lady Jarrett and the Bishop’s Palace (the site of the town hall is where the large palace once stood). I’ve also had personal experiences which I can’t explain, and I think that is why I still find the subject fascinating.


How can readers get hold of the book?

My book is available as an e-Book via Borrowbox on the Darlington Libraries website and also to buy on Amazon.


Have you a spooky story you’d like to share with our members?

There are so many! But yes, one of my favourite stories is about a young boy who invited a friend to his home at Christmas. His parents and sister were out. The boys heard a noise upstairs and they went into the hallway expecting to see a family member. But there at the top of the stairs was a First World War soldier in full uniform, wearing a trench coat. The boy turned to his friend to ask if he could see him, but his friend had already legged it!


If anyone wanted to start ghost hunting have you any advice?

I’ve only ever been on one organised ghost hunt but my advice is always to get permission before attempting to explore any building/grounds. There are lots of ways to engage with those who are interested in the paranormal and our Facebook group is a great place to start.


If you dare to read the new collection of true life encounters…just remember to leave the light on!

We ask can a film ever be as good as the book its based on?

Emma by Jane Austen, is a novel about youth and the perils of misconstrued romance. The story takes place in the fictional village of Highbury and the surrounding estates of Hartfield, Randalls, and Donwell Abbey and involves the relationships among individuals in those locations consisting of "3 or 4 families in a country village".The novel was first published in December 1815, with its title page listing a publication date of 1816. As in her other novels, Austen explores the concerns and difficulties of genteel women living in Georgian-Regency England; she also creates a lively comedy of manners among her characters and depicts issues of marriage, sex, age, and social status.

Before she began the novel, Austen wrote, "I am going to take a heroine whom no one but myself will much like." In the first sentence, she introduces the title character as "Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and a happy disposition... and had lived nearly twenty-one years in the world with very little to distress or vex her." Emma is spoiled, headstrong, and self-satisfied; she greatly overestimates her own matchmaking abilities; she is blind to the dangers of meddling in other people's lives; and her imagination and perceptions often lead her astray.

Emma, written after Austen's move to Chawton, was the last novel to be completed and published during her life, as persuasion the last novel Austen wrote, was published posthumously.

This novel has been adapted for several films, many television programmes, and a long list of stage plays. It is also the inspiration for several novels. One of our librarians went to see it at the weekend and we asked her what she made of this new modern adaptation.

“I have spent a very happy couple of hours enjoying the new film version of Jane Austen's Emma. Anya Taylor-Joy is perfect in the title role with Johnny Flynn oozing charisma as Mr Knighltey the hero of the piece. If you were bowled over by Colin Firth's Darcy you should be bowled over by Johnny Flynn even more. He is second only to Theo James as Sidney parker in ITV's Sanditon in my list of favourite Austen screen heroes. My favourite moment of the whole film had to be when Emma and Mr Knightley dance together and realise their feelings for each other. The chemistry between the two of them is electric and really comes across to the viewer.

The costumes were everything you would expect from a Jane Austen adaptation and all the romance a viewer could wish for was there in this film. There was plenty of fun and humour too. The well known commediene Miranda hart brings all her hilarity to the role of Miss Bates, and the mixture of jaunty folk music and opera on the soundtrack works perfectly”.


If watching this film has inspired you to read some Jane Austen for the first time or you just would like to re read some of your favourites, Darlington Library can supply you with your Austen fix, just ask us and we can find you one of these romantic classics to enjoy. Our online catalogue is the quickest way you can find a book you’re looking for and is available through our website, or our friendly staff are happy to help you. We keep lots of books in our bookstore so if you can’t find what you’re looking for on our shelves its always worth asking. We also offer a request service so can sometimes buy a new borrowable copy of a book in especially for you, or loan it from another library across the UK so we will always help in anyway we can.

Did you know that Deefor dragon is our junior library mascot and likes to visit the library whenever he can (we see him often at our events and of course he loves to visit the Market square on St George’s day!)



This week Deefor stopped by for a chat to tell me all about what we have going on for children in the junior library. We will try not to let it drag-on for too long!

Deefor: Hello, I’ll start with one of my best jokes…. How do you know if there is a dragon under your bed?

Me: I don’t know.

D: Your nose is touching the ceiling. Ha ha! I always love that joke, it’s one of my best.

Me: That’s great Deefor, I’ll bet you have lots more where that came from, knowing what you’re like!

D: Abso-dragon-lutely! But first of all I wanted to tell our amazing junior library members about some of the exciting things we have going on in the next couple of months here at the library. I’m so excited! Firstly we have plenty to keep your little ones busy during half term, everything from making your own books to seeing a musical performance. How brilliant is that! We have even more happening during our Bookfest 2020, happening 2nd-7th March, everything is free and there are magic shows, interactive storytelling, princess and superhero parties and some drama workshops so lots of events and something to suit everybody aged 2-16. We haven’t forgotten about those tweens and teens either, with an evening just for them!

Me: Wow! Deefor that sounds a busy time for the library. How do people get places at these events?

D: They can visit our website and click on a link which takes you to the libraries Eventbrite page and you can book through there, but be quick, these tickets won’t be around forever! During term time for our baby dragons…I mean baby humans we have our popular rhymetime sessions, full of songs, musical instruments and play! You don’t need to let us know you are coming to the Darlington library sessions you can just turn up on the day, but pre-booking is a must for Cockerton sessions. They’re such a great way to encourage reading and literacy from a very early age, and the junior library just bursts with energy and laughter! And you can join the library and start borrowing our books which is the most amazing part!

Me: That’s brilliant, there’s definitely no excuse of having nothing to do then!

D: Mums and dads everywhere listen up! You don’t want bored children on your hands! Which brings me to another joke, what’s a hungry dragons favourite day of the week?

Me: Ooh, I don’t know.

D: Chews-day of course!

Me: Another belter there Deefor. Before you go though tell me something I’ve always wanted to know. Why do dragons sleep during the day?

D: So they can fight knights.

Me: ah, it all makes sense now! We will catch up soon Deefor and for more information on our events programme visit our website:

If you have always had a passion for knitting, or are a beginner and would like to see what it’s all about why not join our lovely knitting group every Monday morning at Darlington library. We meet from 10-12 and we promise to make you welcome.

We stopped by for a chat and asked what the group means to two of our knitters and why new members are always welcome to join.

What’s the best thing about knitting?

Its relaxing, it keeps you calm. I really get a sense of fulfilment when a garment is finished. I find it such a relaxing form of occupation.

What’s the funniest thing to happen in the group?

I would say generally we always have a laugh.

Probably when we tell each other funny stories and when one of us forgets our knitting!

What advice would you give to a first-time knitter?

I would say persevere, you will get it. Mistakes happen to the best of us, don’t worry.

What are you making at the moment and where do you get your ideas?

I’m making a crocheted throw, a fairisle jumper and an R2D2! I get my ideas from magazines and people at the group mainly. I am knitting for the Darlington memorial hospital baby shop.

Why should someone come along to join the knitting group?

We are a happy, friendly group and everyone is welcomed. It’s great fun, come along and meet us!


So what is knitting?

Knitting is the process of using two or more needles to loop yarn into a series of interconnected loops in order to create a finished garment or some other type of fabric. The word is derived from knot, thought to originate from the Dutch verb knutten, which is similar to the Old English cnyttan, “to knot”. Its origins lie in the basic human need for clothing for protection against the elements. The oldest knitted artefacts are socks from Egypt dating from the 11th century! More recently hand knitting has become less a necessary skill and more a hobby. We of course have lots of books on our shelves to help give you ideas or get you started.



Our wonderful library would not be the same without our lovely library team so I will be attempting to introduce some of our staff members and what they do!


Meet the first librarian in the hot seat….Vicki…..



“ Hi, my name is Vicki and one of the things I love doing in my work at Darlington Library is overseeing the home reader service.

This is a monthly exchange of books available for any Darlington Borough resident who is unable to visit the library in person for any reason.  

Books are available in ordinary print, large print and spoken word. 


There are a full range of books on offer from feelgood romances to gruesome crime and everything in between.


Why not escape into the world of the Jedi and read our collection of Star Wars books if you want to. You can borrow up to 15 books at a time so you need never be short of a book between exchanges.


I am an avid reader myself so I know the importance of having a good book to enjoy. If you would like to use the library service but are unable to visit Darlington or Cockerton Library please do not hesitate to contact us on 01325 349610 and ask about the home reader service. 

I have been enjoying some fantastic books from Darlington Libraries E-book selection provided by Borrowbox recently. 


"The Salt Path" by Raynor Winn is a truly inspiring account of a couple's journey after losing everything. I was left full of admiration for the way in which the couple triumphed over adversity.
"Postscript" by Cecelia Ahern is the follow up to the tearjerker "P. S I Love You". The book has an amazing predecessor to live up to but it doesn't disappoint at all. Expect to shed more tears as you follow Holly Kennedy's journey.

I don't usually read popstars autobiographies but Elton John's "Me" made a riveting and entertaining read. Elton John's humour rang out loud and clear throughout the book.

So for those who have never tried e-Books I would thoroughly recommend downloading the Borrowbox app on your tablet,smartphone, computer or digital audio player and beginning your e-Book journey today.”


Library Love Island round up…..

The popular ITV2 show Love Island has been back a few weeks now and features bikini-clad singletons living in a holiday villa waiting to ‘couple up’ with someone to find romance. As Valentine’s day is just around the corner we find out who’s coupling up with who on ‘library love island’…

Maid Marian and Lancelot.

Maid Marian is fending off Lancelot’s advances at the moment, although will it turn out to be a case of ‘ the lady doth protest too much’? Is there room at the round table for another romance for him or will Lady Guinevere get the royal hump?

Carrie and Hannibal Lector.

Carrie may have once experienced a blood bath at her school prom but this doesn’t stop her from getting along splendidly with Hannibal. They have both enjoyed swimming in the villa pool and are planning on sharing a bottle of Chianti at dinner tonight. Hannibal hopefully won’t be doing the cooking. 

Jane Eyre and Dorian Gray. 

These two had found each other a match earlier in the week, unfortunately since then Dorian only seems to have eyes for himself. So perhaps this romance is over before it even has begun.

Mary Poppins and Willy Wonka. 

Mary and Willy were very sweet on each other until Willy revealed how much chocolate and sweets are in his diet, Mary was quite affronted and said the only time sugar is permitted is when you’re taking your medicine. We are not sure whether this love pairing will go sour soon.

Bridget Jones and Adrian Mole.

Bridget may be mad about the boys usually but is Adrian still mad on Pandora? Will this couple have enough time to spend together or will they be too busy updating their diaries to focus on each other?

Peter Pan and Matilda. 

These two started out great and we still have faith that Cupid’s arrow will strike, just as soon as Matilda has persuaded Peter to get his head out of the clouds, stay grounded and read a good book with her.

Agatha Raisin and Sherlock Holmes.

Agatha and Sherlock just love chatting about all their combined solved mysteries. We think they will just love being coupled in the villa… they could become the perfect crime solving duo…. Watson who?


We are always over the moon when we host award winning authors and Elly Griffiths is no exception!

She  is currently touring the whole month of February as part of the launch of ‘The Lantern men’

Elly (real name Domenica de Rosa) has been writing since 1998 and is a very familiar name in our crime section.

Many of our customers are looking forward to getting their hands on her latest title, why not add yourself to the waiting list today! 

In the western world, crime fiction – mystery, thrillers, suspense, whodunnits, etc. – makes up somewhere between 25 and 40 percent of all fiction book sales. Which has got us wondering…why is crime such a popular genre? Crime fiction found its feet with Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes and entered into a Golden Age in the 1920s with Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot and Dorothy L Sayers’ Lord Peter Wimsey, amongst others. The Golden Age introduced ‘rules’ for the genre. Reba White Williams ( summarizes these as follows:

1. All the clues available to the investigator must be available to the reader.

2. There must be a body and we must be introduced to it quickly.

3. The perpetrator can’t conveniently appear out of nowhere in the finale.

4. The crime must be solved by deduction rather than coincidence.

5. There must be multiple clues that can be interpreted in a variety of ways, and more than one suspect.

6. Details must be accurate. Crime is fascinating, to be sure, because most of us don’t commit it. But the popularity of the genre has little to do with crime per se. It has far more to do with the very essence of how storytelling works. There are so many sub genres too from cosy mystery (eg. Agatha Christie and M.C Beaton) to forensic (Jeffery Deaver) and legal (John Grisham) to military thriller (Tom Clancy). So perhaps the popularity is also due to the wide appeal to all interests.


We asked some of our colleagues why they enjoy reading crime.

“I enjoy reading scandinavian crime books. The stories are exciting and I am fascinated about why individuals commit shocking acts. I enjoy reading Camilla Lackberg and discovering all about the local detective Patrik Hedstrom and the other inhabitants of the fishing community of Fjallbacka and the appalling crimes that have occurred”.

“I like classic crime as I love a challenge and I like to see if I can guess ‘whodunnit’ before the end!”

“There are lots of different themes to choose from in crime fiction, I like Simon Kernick best, they’re very gripping and engaging”



Tickets are on sale on now on our Eventbrite page priced £5, so grab one while you can and look out for our Elly Griffiths book display coming soon!

We are delighted to have the super talented Mad Alice theatre company returning to the library at 2pm on the Saturday 15th February 2020. Their production of Rose and Robin really kept audiences old and young entertained last time they visited and we still remember the lovely music drifting through the library and loads of smiling faces as some of the younger audience told us how much they had enjoyed the show.

Mad Alice Theatre Company develops and produces high quality professional theatre touring to our North East regional as well as national theatres plus schools and community venues.  They specialize in theatre for children and young people and families and have put on outdoor promenade/site specific productions which have been enjoyed by all ages due to their unusual and accessible nature– despite the British Weather!  Mad Alice is a not-for-profit professional Theatre Company created by actress Shelley O’Brien in 2003 and is based in Consett in Co. Durham – her home town. For more information on what they do visit:

Rose and Robin is a lively production for children aged 7 and their grown ups.

From childhood to old age, Rose and Robin have had a wonderful life together – and they want to share it with YOU! 

From sports to stargazing, they’ve enjoyed so much! And most of all, they loved to dance.

They’ve had their bumps in the road, of course, and now Robin can’t remember where they keep the clothes pegs. But that’s all fine, at the end of the day!

Playful and serious, sad and happy, this is a show that celebrates life in all its richness; a story of love and loss, for old and young... especially if you are over seven and have ever lost a sock… Or someone you love.

So, join Rose and Robin through their days of dances and dreams, music and memories. What could possibly go wrong? Well, quite a bit... but don’t worry. You’ll be helping them with some of the moves!

A perfect play for children to enjoy with their grandparents and parents - they were kids once as well!

Tickets are £1.50 to book use our eventbrite page:



Happy new year from Darlington Library and welcome to the roaring twenty twenties!

This year we have decided to set up a Darlington libraries blog and we would love you to be involved (more information coming soon!) We will be bringing you news and views about our service as well as book reviews, blog takeovers and loads more, we’re really excited to bring you this new platform as well as our twitter, Instagram and Facebook pages. We just know it’s going to help spread the word about what our libraries offer as well as try and engage new audiences.

(Welcome! From the Enthusiastic librarian blogger 😊)

Now as we know, New year is all about making resolutions and looking to the year ahead so what better new habit to start than to read more! (Ok, Ok so we are a little biased about that one!) We have already started as we mean to go on by starting our Adult Reading Challenge 2020 and would love for you to be part of it. All you have to do is pick up a challenge card and borrow and read a book in each of the categories. You get the card stamped each time you complete a book and go into a prize draw to win a £25 or £50 voucher at the end of the year. There are lots of genres of books involved so you get the chance to read a favourite and try something new. It’s a nice easy way of starting your reading journey and once you have your library card you can access a whole range of services such as family history programme access, computer access and loads more.

There are so many brilliant ways in which reading is really good for us and our mental health and wellbeing. This video lists many of the great reasons why!

Come and say hello soon!

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