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Darlington Library

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 www2.darlington.gov.uk/web/arena/cockerton 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 cassie.cooper@darlington.gov.uk 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: Sylvia.clement@darlington.gov.uk.

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!

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