People in Kirklees invited to discuss attitudes to death

The attitudes of people in Kirklees towards death are to be investigated in a wide-ranging research partnership involving Kirklees Libraries after they were part of a consortium that won a £50,000 grant from the highly competitive Engaging Libraries Programme.

How will the project engage the public?

Kirklees Libraries will work with libraries in Newcastle in the North East and Redbridge in London to investigate if people’s attitudes to death change depending on where they live, their cultural backgrounds or both, building on a successful project on the same topic run by Redbridge Libraries. The project will engage the public through interactive installations, death cafés, panel debates and workshops in local hospices.

Who runs the Engaging Libraries programme?

Almost half of all UK library services applied to the Engaging Libraries programme, which is run by The Carnegie UK Trust, Wellcome and the Wolfson Foundation. It brings vital research projects at universities into the heart of local communities, using libraries to encourage and share learning.

Kirklees Chief Librarian and Libraries Connected President Elect Carol Stump said:

“Having followed the earlier incarnation of the Engaging Libraries programme with interest, we are thrilled to have successfully partnered with one of the great successes from that first phase to explore the difficult themes of death and dying through the safe and trusted space of the public library.

The broadening of scope from the first project, both in terms of widening the geography and the activities, as well as working with our additional local partner Kirkwood Hospice, should provide some significant learning for the wider public library sector, and I’m delighted to support it both in Kirklees and across the wider Libraries Connected network.”

Sarah Davidson, CEO of the Carnegie UK Trust said:

“Engaging Libraries is all about giving people the opportunity to access, use and respond to research. Libraries have a unique position as trusted, safe spaces at the heart of our communities, and this programme is designed to help people explore new ideas and even play a role in influencing research.

“The process will also give university researchers a great opportunity to make connections between their ideas, research findings and the knowledge and experiences of local communities. We are really looking forward to working with all the winning projects.”

Simon Chaplin, Director of Culture & Society, Wellcome said:

“We are delighted to be supporting a second phase of Engaging Libraries with the Wolfson Foundation and Carnegie UK Trust.  We saw a strong demand from the library sector in how they could connect together people’s ideas and interests to research, we hope that this helps stimulate new partnerships and ideas and changes the way libraries can develop their social innovation role.”

Paul Ramsbottom, Chief Executive of the Wolfson Foundation said:

“We are delighted to be working in such fruitful partnership with Carnegie and Wellcome. These are important and intriguing projects, with a wonderful regional spread and tackling some complex, challenging, crucial issues for society. We also hope that these projects will act as exemplars for how public libraries and research institutions can work together.”

When will the projects be developed?

The 14 projects selected to be part of Engaging Libraries will undertake a development period of up to 6 months, supported by the Engaging Libraries team and a bespoke programme of events and workshops to further develop and refine their project ideas before launching their activities.

Poetry, Huddersfield Town AFC and an evening of authors – men’s mental health at Kirklees Libraries

Kirklees Libraries will showcase the talent of three local men who use creativity and writing to highlight men’s health issues as part of Movember.

What’s happening?

Authors Lee Morris and D.R Dixon will be at Huddersfield Library on Monday 18th November 6:00-8:00pm.  Lee will share his experience of interviewing former Huddersfield Town AFC players and there will be an exhibition of Huddersfield Town memorabilia with a chance to win a signed copy of his book.  Wired Thoughts author D.R. Dixon is no stranger to public events having performed at 70 Years of the NHS and multiple Spoken Word events throughout the country.

Both authors will be joined by poet and ‘busker’ R.J. Tomlin who has written about a variety of topics including mental health, loss and chasing dreams.   All three guests will take part in a questions and answers session during the evening.

Drop in sessions

Huddersfield Library will also hold a drop in session in the morning from 10am-1pm where people can get information about men’s health and browse the latest reading collection on this topic.  Dewsbury Library will hold a similar session on Tuesday 19th November 10am-1pm and people are welcome to join the conversation and have a brew.

Andrew Wright, Library Development Manager said:

“We are delighted to be hosting some of our local writers as part of our contribution to the Movember campaign. Libraries have an important and developing role in promoting wellbeing in our communities; they provide a safe and accessible space for people as a gateway to promote positive health messages for men.  We have worked with partners to create a Movember campaign that combines promoting both good physical and mental health.”

More information

For further information and how to book your free place, please visit our website.


Kirklees Libraries celebrate another win with Youth Librarian of the Year award

Congratulations to Olivia Barnden for being crowned Youth Librarian of the Year.

Olivia, who has been working with Kirklees Libraries since 2003, received the award at the joint CILIP (Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals), YLG (Youth Libraries Group) and SLA (Schools Library Association) conference earlier this year in Birmingham.

The Enid Blyton Estate support the Youth Libraries Group to administer the award which recognises the innovation and dedication by a staff member working with children and young people in a public library setting.

Councillor Graham Turner, Cabinet member for Corporate Services said:

“This award is further recognition of the hard work, commitment and dedication that Kirklees librarians show to visitors and young people in particular.  Olivia joins a growing band of library staff that have received national recognition for the fantastic work they do in delivering library services for our residents. To be awarded the Youth Librarian of the Year award is a great honour, many congratulations to Olivia Barnden on her achievement.”

Olivia was delighted with her accolade:

“It was a great honour to be nominated, let alone win this award. I could not do my work without the support of my colleagues.  I hope to use any publicity from my award to highlight all the fantastic work taking place in Kirklees Libraries and to collaborate with other libraries around the country,” she said.

Why did Olivia decide to become a librarian?

Olivia decided to become a librarian to allow her more scope to develop community projects and to do outreach work, encouraging people who don’t traditionally visit libraries to visit them and get involved.

She wants to help make libraries more accessible and to work across the board from pregnancy and babies, through to schools, special schools, teens, adults and older people. She enjoys the challenge of working across the board in libraries, but her heart lies in children’s librarianship.

Olivia works across all 24 Kirklees Public Libraries but is primarily based at Huddersfield Library.

Find your nearest library

Visit our website to find a library near you.

Could you be a library volunteer?

Libraries aren’t just about reading, learning, and literacy. They are about people and the communities they love. If you like reaching out to people and have some spare time then consider becoming a Library Volunteer.

Email us at or call 01484 414868 and ask for Huddersfield Library.

Library book drops in Birkby , Huddersfield

Six places in Birkby and Fartown have signed up to as book drop locations whilst we wait to find a new home for the Birkby Fartown Library.

We closed the library on Wasp Nest Road at the start of November to give Birkby Junior School room to expand to cope with an increased demand for school places.

We know library services are important to local people, and we are continuing to look for a permanent solution for housing the library. We are also working on a way to offer access to computers in the local area.

In the meantime we want to make sure people can continue to borrow books, so we have set up a book drop service.

What is a book drop service?

A book drop is a collection of books left in places that are easy for people to get at. All we need is a shelf where people can pick up books from and return them to when they have finished with them.

We bring new books to replace the ones that have been read on a regular basis.

Book drop locations are below – you can go to them when the venue is open:

Riza Mosque, Halifax Old Road

St Cuthberts Church, Wheathouse Rd

St Johns Church, St Johns Road

Sharan Deli Café, Spaines Road

Fartown Health Centre, Spaines Road

Community Access Point, King Cliffe Rd


Bains Newsagents, Wasp Nest Road are taking in books that library customers wish to return books they have borrowed to the library service

Other library services

Other local libraries can be found online at

Dennis the menace, Banana Man and Minnie the Minx

Summer reading challenge comes to Kirklees

We are excited to announce that this year’s summer reading challenge will start on Saturday 14 July 2018.

The challenge is aimed at children aged 4 – 11 years it is free to join, they can sign up at any of our libraries from 14 July onward. This year’s theme is ‘Mischief Makers’ and is based on the much loved children’s comic, The Beano – which is celebrating its 80th Anniversary.

How does the summer reading challenge work?

Children have to visit the library at least 3 times over the course of the school summer holidays and must read at least 6 books to complete the challenge.

They can be any books they like – novels, fact books, joke books, e-books or audio books, they all count.

Anyone taking part can collect a fun Beanotown Map, stickers and prizes along the way and they’ll get certificate and medal if they complete the challenge.

Some great reading ideas

If your child is not sure where to start, they might like to check out the top ten kids books borrowed over the last 12 months.

  • Billionaire boy – David Walliams
  • Picture Perfect – Rosie Banks
  • The never ending birthday –  Katie Dale
  • Fashion fun – Rosie Banks
  • Must end soon  – Jonathan Meres
  • Brilliant bake off – Rosie Banks
  • Laugh out loud – James Patterson
  • The book you’re not supposed to have – Stephan Pastis
  • The witch’s vacuum cleaner: and other stories – Terry Pratchett
  • Top of the class (nearly) – Liz Pichon

Summer events and activities

Our libraries will also be offering a range of exciting children’s events and activities during the summer holidays including Mischief Lab science workshops (which include slime making), Cartoon Capers Family Storywalks and lots of prank making activities.

The summer reading challenge takes place annually in public libraries and has been shown to effectively combat the ‘dip’ which can occur in children’s reading levels during their long break from school over the summer At the heart of the challenge is children choosing and sharing books, in any format that they like.  If your child is visually impaired or finds printed books tricky, your local Kirklees library will be able to help suggest alternatives.

 If you still need some more inspiration to take part; Sarah, Mum to Isaac aged 7 said:

“The summ

er reading challenge was the only thing – and I mean the only thing – which got Isaac reading last year. It is a great idea and we loved taking part!”

Cllr Graham Turner Cabinet Member with responsibility for libraries said:

“I am pleased to announce the summer reading challenge for this year,  libraries provide a great free way for children to access a wide variety of books and develop a love of reading.  They also provide some fantastic fun events for kids and adults and I am sure that slime making and prank activities will be very popular.  I would encourage everyone with young children to get them involved.”

How to get involved

Pick up a copy of the Highlights Brochure in your local library and book free tickets online here.

Mischief Makers has a dedicated website for children taking part in the challenge. As well as keeping track of their progress online, kids can have all kinds of fun here! There are games and competitions, children can send messages and even find out what to read next using the book sorter.




All the images are ©DC Thomson Ltd (2018).

Healthy Happy Huddersfield

Health Information Week is 2 to 8 July and Kirklees Libraries are getting together with partners to show people the things they can access in Kirklees to help improve their health and well being.

On Thursday 5 July 10-2pm we’re opening our doors and running a programme of free sessions at Huddersfield Library.

What’s going on?

There will be interactive sessions throughout the building, with goodie bags containing health information. Sessions on offer include everything from healthy eating and family nutrition to tips on being active at all ages; there will also be sessions on managing stress and relaxation, and information on online health tools.

The sessions are free to attend and each lasts for around half an hour, anyone can join in and there is no need to book.

How can I find out more?

Further information is available healthy happy Huddersfield brochure, by dropping into the library on Princess Alexandra Walk, Huddersfield or calling 01484 414868.


Have a curious month at our libraries

From the history of gin to local oddities, greedy queens to Mr Men books, this month Kirklees libraries are celebrating our community history with a series of guest talks and fun events.

Walks, talks, quizzes and displays…it’s all free and there’s plenty for families as well as local history buffs. We’ve picked out some of the more quirky happenings below, but also take a look at the full list on the event website and find something to interest you.

Curious Kirklees 

Mirfield, Heckmondwike, Kirkburton and Batley – dates vary
Buildings, unique advertising and bats…come and hear about the curiosities of your neighbourhood.

Beerhouses, brothels and bobbies 

Wednesday 17 May 2017, 13:00-14:00 at Huddersfield Library
Come along to hear Professor David Taylor talk about his new book “Beerhouses, brothels and bobbies – policing by consent in Huddersfield and the Huddersfield district in the mid-nineteenth century”.

Eating with Queen Victoria 

Friday 19 May, 14:30-15:30 at Batley Library
A talk about a greedy Queen and book signing by Dr Annie Gray.

The history of gin

Friday 19 May, 19:30 – 20:30 at Holmfirth Library
A guide through four centuries of a spirit to, literally, die for.

There are also other regular activities that libraries across Kirklees host. They include family history sessions with local experts to help you trace your family tree and meetings of local history groups, where you can delve into the history of a particular area in more detail. Ask a member of staff when you next visit a library and they’ll tell you what’s on.
National Libraries Day

5 reasons to ‘love your library’ – National Libraries Day 6 February

National Libraries Day

Saturday 6 February 2016 will see the 5th National Libraries Day. This is a day of events and activities promoting the different ways that modern libraries help people, families and communities across the UK.

To celebrate the day, our library services are taking the whole month of February to showcase all your library’s facilities that are provided and which are increasingly becoming more vital to you than ever before. We will highlight the many essential services your libraries provide which can be accessed from 24 libraries across our area. These services range from story-time for children, digital skills courses for adults and, of course, providing access to countless books.

There are lots of events taking place to mark the day, including:

1. Kirklees Curiosities in Golcar

On 1 February, 7:30pm buddy historians can enjoy a fascinating talk about odd and unusual items, architecture, shops, people and books in our area with Golcar library’s Kirklees Curiosities.  Our event is also part of Huddersfield Literature Festival 2016.

2. Harry Potter evening

At Dewsbury library on 4 February, 3:30-5:30pm young wizards, witches and muggles will be treated to an evening of games, activities, and quizzes. You will be able to get into character by dressing up in your best wizards’ robes and creating your own potions for a night of Potter inspired fun.

3. ‘Blind date with a book’, Kirkburton

On 13 February Kirkburton Library invites you to play ‘blind date with a book’ where you can take a chance and pick up a mystery book that’s been wrapped, ready to be borrowed. Who knows which exciting new author you might uncover?

4. Pop up Cafe at Birstall

Back by popular demand, Friends of Birstall Library are running their Pop up Café on 18 February. Why not take 10 minutes out of your daily routine? Call in, choose a new book and put your feet up with a cuppa. We are planning to have this as a regular feature on our calendar

5. ‘Big Books’

Pop down to Honley Library’s ‘Big Books’ event on 19 February and help to make one of a series of giant artworks.  You will be inspired by the works of author Jeremy Strong who will be featuring at the Pageturners Festival at Huddersfield Library. The giant book will then be displayed at the Pageturners Children’s Reading Festival finale.

Cllr Turner, our cabinet member for resources said:

The sheer breadth of activities and services one can access at a local library is simply staggering. Customers can find new authors and favourite novels; join in at story time or rhyme time; search for jobs; complete a digital skills course; attend knit and natter or local history groups, and find out what’s happening locally.

Our libraries pride themselves on being a part of the community. People come to borrow books, of course, and there’s nothing staff like more than recommending new titles to readers young and old. But there is so much more that libraries do that lots of people don’t know about, and February – a month to love your library – gives the service a chance to shout about those other services too!”

Local people can take advantage of the activities and services listed and make February ‘a month to love your library’.

With over 280 million visits in 2013-14, going to the library is one of the most popular activities in the UK. More people went to the library than to Premier League football matches (13.9 million), the theatre (22 million) and cinema (165.5 million) combined .

Dates for your diary

Library events throughout February include:

1st Golcar Library 7.30pm, £2 – Kirklees Curiosities talk
3rd Huddersfield Town Hall 9.00-1.00pm – Kirklees Transcription Service presents ‘Vision Connect 2016’
3rd Almondbury Library 7pm, £2 – Glenys Newton, author talk
4th Dewsbury Library 3.30 – 5.30pm – Harry Potter night
5th Cleckheaton Library 10 –noon – Curling and Wii-fit for the over 50s
6th Slaithwaite Library – National Libraries Day
7th All libraries – Library catalogue day -use the online library catalogue to renew your books
8th Holmfirth Library 6-7:30pm – Writers group
9th Marsden Library 10.30-noon – Reader’s group
10th Huddersfield Library 10am – Visually Impaired reader’s group
11th Meltham Library – Did you know you can return your books at any Kirklees library?
12th Batley Library 10am – Crochet club
13th Kirkburton Library – Blind date with a book
14th All libraries – Guaranteed romance with an e-book (
15th Mirfield Library 4.30-6.30pm – Knit and natter
16th Lindley Library 10.45-11.15am – Rhymetime
17th Huddersfield Library 1-2pm -Huddersfield’s best address local history talk
18th Birstall Library 1.30-3pm – Pop up café run by Friends of Birstall Library Group
19th Honley Library 2-4pm – Big Books! Family crafts
20th Tourist Information Centres – Book your town hall show tickets at your local tourist information centre
21st Birkby Fartown Library – Use a computer for free at your local library
22nd Shepley Library 2.30-3pm – Story and rhyme time
23rd Rawthorpe Dalton Library 2-4pm – Local history talk
24th Chestnut Centre 1-4pm – IT support sessions
25th Heckmondwike Library – Ring a library to arrange a class visit
26th Kirkheaton Library 2.30-3.15pm – Lego club
27th Skelmanthorpe Library -Digital support (COBRA) for businesses at every library
28th Greenwood Centre – It’s free to borrow books from any Kirklees library

More info

For further information contact our Communities and Leisure Service team on 01484 226300 or you can contact them by emailing: