Visitors from Sweden

During October 2018, a group of women from Sweden visited Brighton & Hove to find out more about how we help newcomers to the city to integrate into our community.

The Swedish organisations represented were:

  • SV (Studieforbundet Vuxenskolan, )  SV was founded in 1967 to promote social equality through learning and has over 400,000 active members, including 14,000 volunteers who lead their activities
  • The Tea House women’s group(Te-huset)
  • A Somali group Hilac
  • The Swedish Church

The Network of International Women, who meet at Jubilee Library on Wednesdays mornings, organised a full and lively itinerary for the Swedish women’s  visit, including meeting the Mayor (Cllr Dee Simson), and the Community Safety Team at Hove Town Hall, sharing a meal of homemade food at Café Rust in Hove, a lesson at Brighton Table Tennis Club (the country’s first table tennis club of Sanctuary, visiting Brighton Photo Fringe’s exhibition at ONCA Gallery (, and last but not least, spending a morning at Jubilee Library!



The Swedish women’s group spent their Wednesday morning with the Network of International Women at the library, making lavender bags, chatting and looking at the Illuminate Tapestry. The tapestry was created by the women from the Network, and each tapestry square represents the home country of the woman who created it. There were opportunities to talk to the Swedish women (in English, with some Arabic interpreting!) about what they do to welcome newcomers in the municipality of Uddevalla, which has a very large immigrant population, and to exchange ideas and learn from each other.

The Swedish women were impressed by the inclusivity of the activities available to newcomers in Brighton & Hove, and the welcome that they were given. The Network of International Women intend to maintain a long distance relationship with the group and to continue to exchange ideas when the women are back home in Sweden.

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Your Face In This Space! Exciting new art commission at Hove library…

The recent refurbishment at Hove library left the newly painted walls of the Children’s section crying out for a new artwork. We have an exciting project happening this November: illustrator and ex-Laureate Chris Riddell is obliging us with a brand new piece and Hove library’s young customers can get involved!

Parents and carers are invited to upload photos of their little ones proudly displaying a book they’ve borrowed and enjoyed from Hove Library. All of these “shelfies” (pun intended) will be displayed in the library, and a lucky few will be pulled from a hat to be painted by Chris as part of the new work.  To enter share your picture on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, including the hashtag #HoveShelfie in the caption.

As well as this, come and see Chris Riddell live in action let loose on our wall on Thursday 15th November from 10am.

See Chris Riddell’s brilliant work here.

Open to ages 0-12.  Free to enter.

Parents: By uploading your child’s photo you’re giving permission for their image to be displayed at Hove Library or on social media.

Deadline: Wednesday 07 November.  Winners will be notified via social media.

your face in this space POSTER-1


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Libraries Week and World Mental Health Day 2018


Next week (8th-14th Oct) is a busy week in the world of Brighton and Hove libraries, as we celebrate Libraries Week and World Mental Health Day! This year the themes interlink, covering both wellbeing and mental health – with a particular focus on mental wellbeing and young people in an ever changing world.

In recent years knowledge and awareness of mental health issues has increased, with the subject gradually making its way in to mainstream media and daily conversations. However, there’s still a lot of progress to be made…

We know that building awareness helps to combat taboo surrounding mental health problems, so during the next week our aim is to get people talking about mental health and wellbeing – starting conversations and shattering stigma.

Brighton and Hove libraries have a wide range of books available covering the topics of mental health and wellbeing. These include both fiction and non-fiction titles, for children, teenagers and adults – providing a source of awareness, knowledge and also acting as self-help guides.


Throughout the week we will have these on display around the libraries for you to browse and borrow, also feel free to search our online catalogue. Included on the displays will be leaflets and posters providing local information and also titles from our Reading Well and Shelf Help collections.

The link between libraries and wellbeing:

  • Library users have higher life satisfaction, happiness and sense of purpose in life
  • Reading fiction leads to higher empathy and better relationships with others
  • 76% of adults say reading improves their life and makes them feel good
  • Reading for pleasure reduces stress and depression



Whilst libraries nurture a love for reading and hold a wealth of information through books, they also provide so much more! Libraries are adapting in a changing world, providing a community hub, a safe space where the community can come together.

Connecting with others is an important aspect of boosting wellbeing. It is a great way to combat feelings of loneliness and isolation, often associated with low wellbeing. We have various regular events across our libraries, where people connect through interests and hobbies. Details and more information can be found on our website.

Small changes can improve our wellbeing – why not give these suggestions a try?!

  • Take time for yourself
  • Practice relaxation techniques
  • Try mindfulness
  • Learn a new hobby

Next week provides a great opportunity to celebrate libraries and their role in improving wellbeing in the community, whilst also starting conversations about mental health. Keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter pages for regular updates!

Let’s celebrate Libraries Week and World Mental Health Day together!

Monday 8th October:

The Scribe Tribe – A creative writing course with a focus on cultural heritage will be launching at Jubilee Library on Monday 8th during Libraries Week. The course will be taking place every Monday between 4.30pm and 6.30pm until the 3rd December. For more information please contact course leader, Umit Ozturk via email –

Storytime at Jubilee Library – To celebrate Libraries Week we will be incorporating the theme of wellbeing in to our morning Storytime sessions. Storytime takes place at Jubilee Library, Mon-Fri at 10.15am – what a great way to start the day!

Mindful Mondays – On Monday the 8th, we will be launching a new afternoon Storytime session that will be taking place every Monday (during term-time) in the Children’s Library from 3.45pm – 4.15pm.

Wednesday 10th October: World Mental Health Day!

NHS Librarians Visit – Wednesday 10th of October is World Mental Health Day. Pick up a book from our displays at Jubilee library and speak to our visiting NHS librarian from the Audrey Emerton Library for health information. For more information on World Mental Health Day take a look at our previous blog post and check out the Mental Health Foundation website here.

Thursday 11th October:

Author event at Jubilee Library with Ben Clench – Author Ben Clench joins us at Jubilee library to talk about his inspirational memoir Ben Again. Ben will discuss the memoir which covers his experience of traumatic brain injury and recovery after he and his girlfriend were hit by a car in the Dominican Republic. Event starts at 6pm, and includes book signing and free refreshments!

Friday 13th October:

Baby Boogie at Hove Library – Libraries Week special Baby Boogie celebrating wellbeing. Come along at 2.30pm for a fun music and rhyme session for babies and toddlers and parents and carers.

Saturday 13th October:

Dad’s Baby Boogie at Jubilee Library – Another Libraries Week themed Baby Boogie, focusing on wellbeing. Starts at 10.15am. Come along and have a boogie!

Good Vibrations Singalong – Join us from 11.30am – 12.30am at Jubilee on Saturday the 13th for a free performance by the Martlets Good Vibrations Choir. Be uplifted and join in! Libraries across the country will be hosting choirs today to celebrate the benefits of singing for your wellbeing. Get your vocal chords ready – let’s sing and feel great!

Phoenix Family Fun Workshop – Join us at Jubilee library on Saturday afternoon for a free drop in workshop from 2pm-4pm. The workshop is inspired by ‘The Sitting Room’ exhibition at Phoenix. Families are invited to create small objects, playful sculptures and write messages or stories. The workshop will be lots of fun, with plenty of opportunity to explore and create.

Sunday 14th October:

Brighton and Hove Family Learning Festival Join us at Jubilee library from 11.30am – 2pm for some fun, free family learning activities with a snail theme! Enjoy story-telling, crafting, games and so much more!

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Silver Arts Award photography – My Jubilee Library exhibition

By Evie Harnden

At the moment I am doing my Silver Arts Award, part of the criteria is arts leadership, which is why I had an exhibition at Jubilee Library. I chose 10 photos to be on the wall of the young people’s section of the Library, from the 7th of August to the 4th of September.

I am very passionate about photography; I don’t have a specific thing that I enjoy photographing, normally it’s just something that looks visually aesthetic or unique. However I enjoy taking photos of the sky since it is always changing and will never look exactly the same again. I prefer to zoom in when taking my photos as it makes the image more interesting and gives it a different look to a photo that I haven’t cropped.

Some of the photos that were on display included the moon in the daytime, the west pier and some from the cement works. I am also doing photography at school for my GCSE and know for a fact that I will do it for my A levels. I know that when I am older that I would love to have a job that involves photography.Evie H promo image.JPG


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A young Volunteer writes – British Comics blog 15 08 2018

young-vols-stamp1Hello Everyone, Carlos here. In celebration of the Beano theme this year, I thought I’d highlight some of the most interesting British comics to have been released in recent years.



6. corpse talk 2Corpse Talk by Adam Murphy- Serialised in the comics magazine “The Phoenix”, Corpse Talk is a treat for fans of Horrible Histories and The Danger Zone book series. Adam’s cartoon alter ego interviews undead versions of famous historical figures, such as Cleopatra, Einstein and Henry VIII. Both funny and educational, if you like Horrible Histories you’ll like this. The library has season 1, season 2 and the Ground-breaking scientists and Ground-Breaking Women books available



pirates of pang5. Pirates of Pangaea by Daniel Hartwell and Neill Cameron- Jurassic Park meets Pirates of the Caribbean in this swashbuckling adventure comic. In 1717, young woman Sophie Delacourt finds herself attacked by pirates whilst travelling to the mysterious island of Pangaea to meet her Uncle. However, pirates are not the only threat on Pangaea, as it is the only place in the world with living dinosaurs! A fun comic any fan of dinosaurs, pirates or both will love.




fish head steve4. Fish Head Steve by Jamie Smart- A small Mid-Western town suffers from a strange mutation in this hilarious comedy by cartoonist Jamie Smart. Steve wakes up to find that not only he has a fish for a head but everyone in town has had their heads combined with objects and animals! A truly off-the-wall and funny comic.






3.Vern and Lettuce by Sarah vern lettuceMcIntyre- Vern, a sheep, works as a park groundskeeper and lives with the rabbit Lettuce and her family. Together, they get into misadventures involving baking, birthdays, bunny-sitting and fame! Long time fans will know that Sarah McIntyre was the illustrator of 2014’s Reading Challenge “Mythical Maze”. This is a really sweet and funny comic.



mezolith2. Mezolith by Adam Brockbank and Ben Haggarty- Myth, Magic, Terror and Survival all blend together well in this Stone Age Dark Fantasy Graphic Novel duology. The story follows a teenage caveman known as Poika as he comes of age, whilst he and the rest of his tribe face a struggle to survive in prehistoric britain. Drawing on traditional mythical elements and featuring very detailed realistic artwork, Mezolith is like no comic you’ve ever read.





brighton graphic novel

1. Brighton: The Graphic Novel by Tim Pilcher, Brian Talbot and others- 300 years of Brighton History are presented in 14 different comic stories by 28 different writers and artists. Spoofs of Charlie’s Angels and EC Comics Horror Anthologies are featured, along with personal anecdotes and stories.

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Lorraine Bowen visits Jubilee Library

lorraine bowen twitter

Jubilee Library was delighted to welcome Lorraine Bowen last weekend for a perky reading from her new book The Crumble Lady and some great live music. It was a really well attended event and an interactive experience – good fun was had by all!  Lorraine sang many of her hits, including ‘Off On My Bike’ and ‘The Crumble Song’ and even got the audience moving along to ‘The Cat Food Crumble’ with her unique choreographic stylings.

lorraine 1lorraine 3.jpg

lorraine 2

It’s fair to say Lorraine Bowen is the ultimate Mischief Maker! You can sign up to Mischief Makers: the children’s Summer Reading Challenge 2018 at all Brighton and Hove libraries for FREE!  Also, lots more free SRC 2018 events are taking place; see our website and social media for all the details of everything that’s happening plus more information about the Summer Reading Challenge.

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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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