Official Launch of the Illuminate Tapestry

The launch of the Illuminate tapestry, created by the Network of International Women of Brighton & Hove, took place on Saturday 23rd June. The film of the making of the tapestry was presented by  Councillor Alex Phillips, the Deputy Mayor. Dee Simson, the Mayor, and Pinaki Ghoshal, Director of Children, Family and Schools were also present. Representatives from the Brighton & Hove Community Safety Partnership and Sanctuary on Sea attended the event. There were at least 50 people present, including some of the women who had created the tapestry and their families.IMG_0044

Some of the contributors to the tapestry, stood up and spoke about what participating in the project had meant to them, the friendship and acceptance of other women, and working together to create and share something of their home country – which was very humbling. See more info about the making of the tapestry here .IMG_0048Teachers from Queen’s Park School and St Luke’s Primary Schools who had introduced the Illuminate tapestry to their pupils, brought a wonderful tapestry created by Queens Park School with them, and spoke about the impact the women’s tapestry had had on their pupils. Children, whose mothers had contributed a square for the tapestry, were very proud to see it displayed in their school. Children talked to each other about the countries the squares represented, and how the creator had been feeling when she made the square, and what the images meant. Children at St Luke’s Primary School can be seen with the Illuminate tapestry.   Other local schools are really keen to use the tapestry with children for PSHE learning, and info about the tapestry. We all discussed how the tapestry could be used in the future to promote understanding, community cohesion and bring people of all ages and cultures together.

 There was also a collection of relevant books available from libraries on display including: books in other languages, dual language picture books, books for children about refugees and books and CDs on learning English.

 The Illuminate tapestry can often be seen hanging from the mezzanine at Jubilee Library, unless it has been lent out for study or an event. We are also arranging to display the Queen’s Park School tapestry in Jubilee Library over the Summer holidays.

 The Network of International Women meet every Wednesday morning from 101m-12pm in Jubilee Library to sew and chat. Women from all countries, including the UK are welcome.



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Volunteer Week 2018


The first week of June was Volunteers’ Week! It was a chance for us to celebrate the work our volunteers do and the invaluable service they help us provide in the community. We held activities throughout the week to celebrate our volunteers, who give up their time in so many ways. We wanted a chance to say a big thank you to them all!

We hosted 3 events over the week, so here’s a little run down of each and some photos for you to browse 🙂

Event #1: Volunteer Meet and Greet

At the start of the week two of our volunteers, Miranda and Denise, created a vibrant and popular display celebrating Volunteers’ Week. This was located in prime position at the entrance to Jubilee Library, providing information for potential new volunteers and those interested in finding out more about volunteering for the library service.

A volunteer meet and greet was held in this space too! Our current volunteers were on hand throughout the week, sharing their experiences and answering questions about what their volunteering roles in the library involve.


Event #2: Volunteer Forum

A volunteer forum took place on the 4th of June, led by Annie – a home delivery staff member. This provided an opportunity for volunteers to meet up, discuss their experiences and share suggestions.

With over 14 libraries across the city, the forum gave volunteers a chance to come together and share their experiences and advice with each other.

Whilst this was the first library volunteer forum we’ve held, it certainly won’t be the last! It was a brilliant session, providing valuable feedback on how we can further develop the volunteering experience.

Event #3: Rare Books Tour and Talk

“Volunteering with the library has given me some fascinating and exciting opportunities; earlier this week I was able to go on a tour of the Rare Books Room at Jubilee Library as part of Volunteers’ Week. This was a great honour to me and I was awed by the books I was able to see, learn of and handle” – Imogen, Stock Volunteer


Our final event of the week was hosted by Sam and Ali, our Rare Book specialist staff. They very much enjoyed the day, spending quality time with the volunteers and sharing their knowledge of the historic rare book collections usually kept behind locked doors at Jubilee Library. It was great fun for all. The volunteers had the chance to browse and learn about some of the most unique and intriguing items, before heading into the rare books strong room for a guided tour. The strong room houses around 45,000 treasures, including a vast array of books, prints, and periodicals.

The highlights for many included impressively preserved illuminated manuscripts, oriental silk prints and of course the libraries miniature book collection (some so tiny that an equally miniscule magnifying glass is included!) Also available to peruse were books with unusual bindings, one is formed from shipwrecked wood and another is supposedly bound in human skin…


For more information about volunteering at Brighton and Hove libraries visit our website. To keep up to date with what’s happening across our libraries make sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook!

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A library volunteer shares her story…

I applied to be a library volunteer in January 2017 and began volunteering at Portslade (my local library) in April 2017. I have always been an avid reader and writer and as such have enormous respect for environments that devote themselves to making books/information publically and freely available. At the time I was eighteen and did not have much work experience, so hoped to gain some via volunteering. Whilst I have since had two paid jobs, I have continued to volunteer alongside my work as I find it so enjoyable!

Whilst when I was not working or in education, volunteering gave me a sense of purpose and elevated my confidence. Now that I am working, volunteering feels like a much-needed change in pace and environment. The library is a peaceful, warm place and it is immensely rewarding to feel like I am of some use there. There is always something to do – whether it is simply shelf-tidying and keeping noticeboards up to date, or creating new posters and displays – and I arrive at the library every Saturday morning, wondering what is in store.

I also feel that I have learned a lot from my experiences volunteering; about the way libraries are run and kept, and about the range of services provided. I had no idea that so many groups met and so many events occurred at Portslade before I started volunteering there, and have consequently gained an even greater conviction that libraries are necessary for communities. I have also learnt to understand the dewey decimal system, and am now much better at using a laminator! Volunteering with the library has also given me some fascinating and exciting opportunities; earlier this week I was able to go on a tour of the Rare Books Room at Jubilee Library as part of Volunteer’s Week. This was a great honour to me and I was awed by the books I was able to see, learn of and handle – I could not have dreamed of such an opportunity without having volunteered.

Whilst I will have to stop volunteering soon, as I will be moving away for university (where I am going to study English Literature and Creative Writing), I will take with me all I gained from the experience, which has been invaluable to me and has inspired me so much that I now seriously consider working in a library in the future. I would recommend volunteering to anyone, and am so grateful to everyone who has made it such a rewarding, pleasant experience for me.

Imogen Cook – Portslade Library Stock Volunteer.

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Carers – this week we celebrate you!


Over 6.5 million people in the UK are carers. Every day around 6,000 people in the UK will start looking after someone close to them, unpaid. This may be a family member, friend, or neighbour and could involve tasks such as making appointments, dealing with doctors, administering medicine, providing emotional support and so much more.

Whilst caring for someone can be a hugely rewarding experience, being a care giver is also challenging, a struggle. Often the health and wellbeing of the carer is overlooked and the support they need absent. This means that feelings of loneliness and isolation can be a big problem for carers. Many find that meeting and communicating with others in similar situations can help and have a positive impact. To find out about local groups in Brighton and Hove visit,

‘Carers – My Health Matters’ is a scheme funded by Brighton and Hove City Council and the NHS. It provides cover for carers to attend appointments and training. Crossroads Care in Brighton, provide support to the person being cared for whilst their carer has some time to attend their own appointments. More information about this scheme can be found here. Other organisations involved in Carers Week are listed here.

Carers Week, running from the 11th – 17th June, hopes to build awareness, appreciation and support for carers who provide such a brilliant support system for families and communities throughout the UK. It’s a time to appreciate the work they do and increase awareness about the challenges care givers face. It highlights the need for carers to be supported and recognised as individuals with needs themselves, beyond the person they are caring for.

2Across Brighton and Hove libraries we have a wide range of books aimed at carers, which can be found on our catalogue. Some examples include; 3.png

Many titles can also be found on our eBook app – Borrowbox! They can be accessed easily from home, so you don’t have to make a trip to the library if you’re not able to. All you need is your library membership number and PIN!


This might also be a good time to let you know about our home delivery service. This is a service we provide for those who have difficulty getting to a library. Volunteers who work with the team collect and distribute books to people, taking them to their homes. If you have limited mobility, poor health or are a full time carer for someone who would like this service you can contact the home delivery service by phone on 01273 294599 or by email

To sign this post off, we’d like to say Thank You to carers, both formal and informal, for the care and support they provide to those whose lives would be so very different without their help!

Thanks for reading! 🙂

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Borrowbox – a young user’s experience

Borrowbox2“I love using Borrowbox – its easy intuitive design makes it easy to find your title.

 I enjoy listening to the Alex Rider eAudiobooks on Borrowbox, the narrators voice brings the story alive. Audiobooks are a great way to multi-task while reading a book.

 My family and I enjoyed listening to the first of the Alex Rider series on a long car journey while on holiday. Now I’m listening to the third book in the series.alex rider

I find it amazing how the library offers these books for free”.

       Robert, 11 years old


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Rent A Bridesmaid by Jacqueline Wilson

A Book Binder review

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ret aJacqueline Wilson has now written over 100 books and I’ve loved every one I’ve read (over 40)! In this one, Tilly desperately wants to be a bridesmaid but no-one she knows is getting married, so she and her best friend Matty write an advert renting her out as a bridesmaid, which they put in the corner shop for all to see! Tilly gets three replies: one from old Mrs Bloomfield and her fiancé Mr Flower, the second from a cheery deputy head called Simon and his partner Matthew, the last a spiky lady called Mandy and her husband to be. But all Tilly really wants is to wear the pink bridesmaid dress at mum and dad’s wedding, though she knows that’s not possible as mum and dad split up over a year ago.

 Your will feel like laughing, crying and being a bridesmaid if you read this book!


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PRESENTING… The Book Binder, Brighton & Hove Libraries’ Young Reviewer

book binder logo

REVIEW: Being Miss Nobody by Tamsin Winter (a story about speaking out from a girl who can’t)

A story about a girl who won’t speak to anyone except her family, this is a sad book. Rosalind has to go to a different school than all her friends at primary school and everyone calls her names. She’s the ‘weird girl’ who doesn’t talk, the ‘mute ant’!miss n

So Rosalind starts a blog where she, and others who can’t stand up for themselves, can speak and it changes her life forever. But there’s just one problem : is she becoming a bully herself?

This story is very moving, and I particularly liked Ailsa (Rosalind’s only friend at high school) because she’s very kind to Rosalind and doesn’t mind that she can’t talk.

My favourite scene is when Rosalind meets Ailsa for the first time because Rosalind finally finds a friend!

This book is unique, with lots of serious issues and is age rated 9+ (advanced).


The Book Binder


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Free eBooks and eAudiobooks with BorrowBox



If you’ve previously delved into the world of free digital book lending via Brighton and Hove libraries, you may remember our old provider, Overdrive. We now subscribe to BorrowBox, which promises greater choice of ebooks and eAudiobooks for both adults and children than before.  This brilliant free service is available to anyone who has a current Brighton and Hove library card.  It’s really intuitive in use, and easy to install the app onto your device and get borrowing!  Android users should check out the Google play store, whilst Apple devotees can find it in the App Store.  PC users can use this service via the BorrowBox website.  It’s also available on Amazon Kindle Fire.  Be sure to have your library card number and pin to hand when you first begin.  There are no late charges or fees for reservations, items which are out on loan are automatically returned on the due date.

Find out more information from our website:


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City Reads 2018

sacred country

This year’s City Reads selection is Sacred Country, by Rose Tremain.  The book has been described as moving, ground-breaking and ahead of its time, with its depiction of a transgendered life at the centre of the story.  Although the book is over a quarter of a century old, it still feels as relevant as ever.

The concept of City Reads is this: each year a book is chosen for the whole community to read, discuss, debate and creatively engage with in a series of special events, workshops and performances.  There is a whole catalogue of events taking place in the city during April and May to mark the occasion, including respected author of this year’s book choice, Rose Tremain in conversation, to name but one.  Click the link to check out a full programme of what’s going on both in libraries and other venues throughout Brighton and Hove.

City Reads is not just for adults. This year’s Young City Reads is Kid Normal, by Greg James and Chris Smith.  More information can be found here:

kid normal

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International Women’s Day 2018 at Jubilee Library

Women's Network 1st birthday 2018For the past 2 or 3 months Jubilee Library has been hosting the Network of International Women on a Wednesday morning. Each week, women from all corners of the globe, who are now living in Brighton & Hove, settle down in our community space to sew and chat. They have been sewing with a purpose, to create a tapestry that includes and represents all the different women who make up our diverse community. Each square of the tapestry represents the home country of the woman who made it. The tapestry was shown for the first time (and added to!) at The Dome, as part their International Women’s Day celebrations, and it is now on display at Jubilee Library.


Pop into Jubilee Library between 10 and 12 on a Wednesday morning if you would like to meet some of the group or create a tapestry square. . The Network celebrated it’s first birthday in March 2018 – Women of all ages and nationalities are welcome to join the Network to make friends, share skills and enjoy living in our vibrant city.  Contact if you would like more information.




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