Darlington Library

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?