Doncaster Library, Doncaster
Doncaster Central Library
Joined on 16th July 2019
There has been a library in Doncaster for the last 150 years and as the town celebrates their century and a half from their most current building (a one time carpet warehouse) a new exciting building is being built just round the corner to which the library will move in August 2020. I very much hope to come back after the move because the library and staff gave me such a wonderful and wondrous welcome that i’m keen to see them settled in to their new premises. I arrived after having spent two days with The Power Of Words (POW) Festival in North Lincolnshire and was in-fact dropped off at Doncaster by POW organiser Emma Wilkinson (Emma and fellow Pow Superhero Sarah Tipler had been looking after me during my school and library visits during the festival – thank you guys). Doncaster Library is huge and my first port of call was the children’s library where Learning and engagement Officer Shirley Wilson showed me around the huge space pointing out some original Simon Bartram artwork and a mural with the lovely message that “Sharing stories helps young minds grow.” The library staff were brilliant showing me around not only the children’s library but also the lending and reference library and THE STACK.
The stack is a collection of 160000 childrens books that the Doncaster Schools Library Service share with participating schools creating curated boxes of books with curriculum and topic tie-ins the focus always being reading for pleasure. Literacy Learning Managers Helen Foster and Thomas Wilcox filled me in on all the fabulous service that the SLS offer such as storytelling sessions, comic workshops and more. Thomas had the impressive duty of handling the books for a stunning 57 book groups sending each group a new set of books each month to read and discuss. It’s been a while since I’ve been a part of a book group but seeing the stacks of books that Simon had waiting to go out to various groups got me very keen to get back into one, there is something so energising and satisfying about putting time aside to regularly discuss and debate books. I also got to meet James Phillipson-Lowe who oversees the Mobile Home Library getting books to those that are housebound or can not make it to the library, an incredibly important service.
Just from walking around the library I got the briefest sense of the rich history in Doncaster from talk fo the trains that were built there and the city’s mining history. Some bust of living miners (and a nurse who worked down the mines) have been created which will make up part of a new art work to be install in town making the archaeologist in me pining to definitely return and to check out the new library and museum when it opens to find out more.
I was joined up to the library by Library Adviser Mel and have proudly added my 28th library card to my collection for the #LibraryMarathon. Hoping this will inspire you to #JoinYourLibrary #LoveYourLibrary.
Massive thanks to staff: Helen Foster, THomas Wilcock, Shirley Wilson, Carole Connor and longest serving member Chris ZAgraba