Hull Central Library, Kingston Upon Hull
My train to Hull got in at 15:48 Hull Central Library was due to close at 5pm – I had to get to my hotel, check-in, dump my bags and run!
I managed to get to the library just before closing, the wide airy library was very welcoming and staff got me signed up straight away and this was another library with a choice of card. A friendly voice called behind me as I joined up, it was Librarian Becky who I first met last year at the BBC Contains Strong Language festival where I gave an author talk. The talk then was held in the children’s section of the library (which had been totally transformed at the time with seating and a mini stage.)
Becky took me through a small side corridor that led to the adjoining James Reckitt Public Library and it’s foundation stone lain in 1900, Hull’s first free library. This part of the building is redbricked and beautiful with gorgeous original features. A side room currently holds a photography exhibition Sixteen, I only managed a glimpse but it looked astounding and hope to catch it again on tour. The exhibition, the brain-child of Craig Easton, is a collective of photographers creating portraits of sixteen year olds, exploring their lives and experiences. It reminded very much of work I saw recently at The Photographers Gallery, Dublin, the Snap Judgement exhibition currently on, has work by two photographers Eva O’leary and Daragh Soden that explores the lives of young people. These photographs not only took me back to being a teen but made me painfully aware of the extra pressures young people have to contend with in the modern world. The exhibition in Dublin also features as an incredible series of photographs by Haley Morris-cafiero that is a heart-breaking look at judgment in the modern world.
Becky the librarian went on to take me into the children’s library (now looking very different from when I was last here.) I was amazed to find two librarians in the throes of putting up some #ReadForEmpathy posters by EmpathyLabUK a fantastic list of books that encourage empathy. I’m incredibly proud to share that my book with Allison Colpoys, ‘If All The World Were…’ features on the Read For Empathy list. The timing was ripe for a photo!
If you haven’t already do #JoinYourLibrary not only to borrow books but also to take advantage of the incredible exhibitions that they often feature and events that they often hold.