Libraries Week 2019: celebrating 100 years of Wiltshire libraries

Libraries Week 2019: celebrating 100 years of Wiltshire libraries

Libraries Week is a celebration of the nation's libraries, with the focus in 2019 on digital services. In Wiltshire, we will be showcasing our various e-resources and services, and also looking back to celebrate all that libraries offer as part of the centenary.

On 1 August 1919, Wiltshire became one of the first counties to have a public library service. Initially the service consisted of circulating ex-army ammunition boxes of books to distribution centres (mostly local schools). They were supplied from a central headquarters in Trowbridge and changed two or three times a year.

Lots has changed in the last 100 years, and as part of the centenary celebrations, libraries around the county will host special displays with photographs and information. Larger libraries will also be running a historic library photo quiz where customers have to guess the library from the old photograph and clues. There will be a prize draw for all correct entries, with the winner receiving a copy of Deepest Wiltshire: the people, the places and the roots of a unique community, kindly donated by the authors Fanny Charles and Gay Pirrie-Weir.

To highlight Wiltshire libraries' digital services, in the run up to Libraries Week, there will be a Big Wiltshire eRead, when libraries will encourage everyone to read the eBook The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson. Then, during Libraries Week there will be special reading group sessions to discuss the book in Bradford on Avon, Chippenham, Devizes, Melksham, Trowbridge and Salisbury. The eBook can be downloaded for free using the free App; see eBooks for more information. 

For children and young people under 16, libraries will be running a Libraries of the Future art competition. They will be encouraged to recreate their own vision of a library in the future using a medium of their choice. This competition will run from Libraries Week until 31 October and will be judged in three age categories: 0-6s, 7-10s and 11-15s.

The Library Bingo Challenge will see 24 fun challenges set out on a bingo style sheet promoting a range of library services, including challenges such as check out an eMagazine; visit a Wiltshire library you've not visited before; or take a selfie in the library and post on social media.

Anyone joining a Wiltshire library during this week will be automatically entered into a prize draw, and one newly joined child member and one adult member selected at random will win a prize.

Finally, we will be asking customers to tell us what they love about their library in less than 100 words and also inviting comments on Facebook and Twitter, with the hashtag #WiltsLibraries100.

Allison Bucknell, Conservative Councillor and Cabinet Member for Libraries, said: "We have a wonderful programme of activities during Libraries Week that we hope will bring the community together.

"We're delighted to celebrate 100 years of the much-loved library service in Wiltshire, and it's also great that we can look ahead during Libraries Week and showcase the ways we can support people to learn new digital skills, get connected, get creative and enjoy our range of digital services. Everyone is welcome and the library is free to join."

To find out more, follow @WiltsLibraries on Twitter, or find larger libraries on Facebook.

by Charlie Monro,