Baelie’s review – ‘Optimism for Difficult Times’ (Brighton Festival 2017)

young-vols-stamp1Brighton Festival kindly gave our Reading Hack Young Volunteers some Pay it Forward tickets to attend a YA author panel this month called ‘Optimism for Difficult Times’. Here’s Baelie’s write-up of what was a really interesting and funny evening with some of the group’s favourite authors!

Hey everyone!

Today’s blog is going to talk about an event that I went to with my friend at the Sallis Benney Theatre! This event was part of the Brighton Festival, and it took place at the University of Brighton. Four authors including Juno Dawson, Alex Wheatle, Non Pratt and Patrice Lawrence, all sat down to discuss some issues including equality and some of their books. I was lucky enough to get my book Margot and Me signed by Juno Dawson!! It was overall a great experience, and I had a lot of insight into the world of someone who’s an author!

C_qFibnWAAU6h_K (1).jpg

The book that I got signed I thought I would really enjoy, and so far I have! Margot and Me is kind of based in the time of World War 2 and the 1980’s to the 1990’s. It’s about a girl named Felicity who moves to her grandmother’s farm with her previously ill mother. The story so far is great! And I can’t wait to read more.

My favourite bit about the whole event has to be the politics section. I like the topic of politics and for the four authors to discuss how they could include politics in their books was very interesting. I recommend to anyone who likes reading, or just going to events, to go to this next time!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

May is a busy month! Mental Health Awareness Week and Dementia Awareness Week

Mental Health Awareness Week 2017, 8th – 14th May

This year the focus is on good mental health and questioning whether people are surviving or thriving when it comes to their mental wellbeing.  Instead of just getting by and ‘surviving’ with a mental health condition, this week is about empowering individuals to take steps forward, however small they seem,  to actively work towards personal goals across all areas of their lives.mental health

The 2017 awareness campaign encourages us to strive to thrive in relation to mental health as well as raising awareness, combatting stigma and promoting social justice.

Books play a big role in increasing knowledge and for many are a source of support, encouragement and advice. This is why Brighton and Hove libraries have a wide range of books covering all types of mental health issues, with both fiction and non-fiction titles available for children, teenagers and adults.  These books raise awareness, knowledge and also act as self-help guides, supporting the self-management approach to mental health that is so often championed.  Pop in to your local library and check out the books we have to offer. You can browse our catalogue here:

While you are in, you can also ask us about our Reading Well Books on Prescription collection. This is a select group of titles officially recommended by health professionals to assist in the treatment of different mental health conditions. Click this link to have a look at the online Reading Well catalogue and suggested reading lists;

In our health sections we also keep a variety of leaflets and information guides to keep you informed of relevant local support groups and events. Come to visit and have a browse!

You can also get involved in a national conversation by visiting the Mental Health Foundation website

Look out for ideas and information on how to encourage a lasting change in how people think about mental health!20170504_102835-1

Dementia Awareness Week 2017, 14th – 20th May

Another campaign Brighton and Hove libraries are promoting this month is Dementia Awareness Week.  1 in 14 people over 65 have dementia at any one time. Despite it being so common, awareness and understanding of the disease is low, meaning many families face it alone.

The campaign, supported by the Alzheimer’s Society, is encouraging everyone to unite against dementia, to raise awareness and take any positive action they can. This action could be being patient and supportive if you come across someone that might be struggling, ringing a relative you haven’t spoken to in a while or even simply making an effort to find out more about the disease. Did you know, for example, that there are about 100 different types of dementia? Alzheimer’s disease is just one of them. It is only through awareness and action that the disease can be better understood, care can be improved and the search for a cure can progress further.dementia

A reoccurring theme for Dementia Awareness Week is ‘remember the person’. This reinforces the fact that a person with dementia is more than just that, there is a person behind the disease and they deserve to be seen. Ensuring the person is viewed and valued fully and respectfully is essential in working towards eradicating stigma and improving care. The importance of friendship and kindness cannot be understated in combatting the loneliness which often surrounds the disease.

We have a variety of resources covering dementia throughout our 14 libraries across Brighton and Hove, providing information and supporting those living with dementia as well as their friends and families. Here a few local activities in Brighton and Hove for those facing dementia and their families:

The Alzheimer’s Society website is also a great resource for advice and support:  and you can find your nearest local support groups through this link:

Get involved and raise awareness for both of these campaigns. It’s so important in helping and supporting those with mental health issues or those living with dementia, as well as their families and friends.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

City-wide drawing event during April: come and draw in Hove Museum!

As part of their current exhibition – Many Ways To Tell A Story – Fabula Collective are holding a drawing event during April, hosted by Hove Museum. All Brighton and Hove school children and any adults who would like to join in are invited to come along during opening hours and draw in the museum.

Come to the museum and be inspired: draw and imagine your own stories. You could draw one object or many – or a whole story in one page! Draw inside a frame created by Fabula artists – these will be available in the museum for everyone to use.

Then, you can enter your drawing into the Instagram exhibition #fabulacollective – Fabula want everyone to be part of this online story and all can join in. Full instructions will be available at the museum.

The fun will culminate in a Fabula fun day at Hove Museum to celebrate drawing and the end of our exhibition on:

Saturday 29th April from 12 noon until 4.30 pm.

Drawings will be exhibited in the galleries. Meet the artists behind the Fabula exhibition and get drawing tips. Join an arty-crafty workshop and treasure trail and handle museum objects.


Names of children who drew in the museum will be put in a hat for a prize draw to win some great art materials.

So sharpen your pencils and draw in the museum!


Contact Louise Dennis 07775 530539

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Happy Birthday Jonny!!

Jonny Scachter has been working for Brighton and Hove libraries for over 15 years.  He does a fantastic job of organising our CD collection on a voluntary basis, making sure everything is where it should be.  A huge asset to the service, he’s never afraid to tell staff how it should be done!  Such a dedicated member of the team, Jonny even came into Jubilee Library to volunteer on his 60th birthday.  He enjoyed cakes and coffee before starting his usual shift and was presented with a card signed by his colleagues.Jonny 1

“I really enjoy working in the Jubilee Library. It is very self-rewarding. Everyone tells me how much they appreciate me. If a customer is looking for a CD and I find it for them, it gives me a real sense and great feeling of self-satisfaction” –  Jonny Scachter, 24th March 2017.

If you’re interested in volunteering for the Brighton and Hove Library service, please contact us at:

Phone: 01273 290800


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

BBC’s Get Creative Weekend

22Jubilee Library hosted a taster quilting session for the BBC’s Get Creative Weekend 7-9th April.  Get Creative is intended to celebrate everyday creativity and inspire everyone to have a go at doing something creative. Members of the Quilters’ Guild designed applique mini quilts and Indian Kantha coasters based on local features – the domes of the Royal Pavilion and seagulls, which library customers could sew and then take home their own creation.




Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Storytime and Baby Boogie Drop-in Sessions at Hove Library


From 21st April Storytime at Hove Library will change from Wednesday to Friday afternoons.  Dates for drop-in sessions will be every 1st and 3rd Friday 2.30-2.45pm.  Baby Boogie music and rhymes for pre-school children will take place on 2nd and 4th Friday of the month.  Both Storytime and Baby Boogie are term time only – Everyone is welcome!


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

City Reads 2017 at Hove Library

Visit Hove Library and have a look at this year’s City Reads display, and grab a great read! 

City Reads Display - Hove Library 2017 - 2

City Reads 2017 is celebrating “The Handsworth Times”, by British Asian writer Sharon Duggal until 14th May.  For further information visit your local library for a programme of events.

City Reads Display - Hove Library 2017


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

‘Into the Outside’ with Bethan Roberts and Allie Rogers

This upcoming free event is taking place at Jubilee Library:

Bethan Roberts will be discussing her novel My Policeman, set in the Brighton underground gay scene of the 1950s.  Hear her talk about how she researched the book.

my policeman

Allie Rogers, born and raised in Brighton, is an author of short fiction published in several magazines and anthologies, including Brighton’s ‘Queer’.  She will be discussing her debut novel Little Gold, set in our fair city in the 1980’s.

allie rogers

Also, take a tour of the ‘Into the Outside’ exhibition.  This is a young people’s project, which examines how issues faced today by those of a similar age identifying as LGBTQ+ compare with those faced by young LGBTQ+ people over the past forty years in the same city.  The project was supported with access to archive materials including the National Lesbian and Gay Survey, culminating in a brand new youth archive at The Keep.

into the outside

Come along and meet staff from The Keep to discuss their LGBTQ+ archive and their support of ‘Into the Outside: The Next Chapter’ by Brighton & Hove Young People.


Wednesday 15th March

Jubilee Library, Conference Room 1

2 – 4pm

Free event

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


“The only thing that you absolutely have to know is the location of the library.” – Albert Einstein

World Book Day is a global celebration of reading that is well highlighted in every librarian’s calendar, and here at Brighton & Hove Libraries it’s a particularly special date as it marks the anniversary of the opening of our flagship branch in the heart of the city’s North Laine.

Since its doors first opened in March 2005, Jubilee Library has been in the top five most visited libraries in the UK, with over 1 million visits a year. The building itself has won its own accolades for architecture and sustainable design – its carbon emissions are only 50% that of conventional buildings and the toilets are flushed with rainwater collected from the roof.

This year World Book Day falls on Thursday 2nd March and the occasion provides library members old and new with the opportunity to celebrate their local libraries and the dedicated staff that run them. It is not only an opportunity to reflect on the joy of reading, but also the importance of these free, safe spaces at the heart of communities.

On World Book Day 2017 we’ll be hosting workshops for selected primary school classes to launch Young City Reads – Brighton & Hove’s ‘big read’ for children, which sees school classes across the city reading the same book at the same time to form a giant book group. We’ll also be providing World Book Day activity sheets for families after school so do pop in to your local branch and say hello.


Our libraries are free to join – anyone can join – and we’re committed to ensuring you have access to books that you’ll love, and the information that you need. You can borrow books, DVDs, CDs, audiobooks, eBooks, access the internet, attend courses and events, or just drop in to study or read the paper.

10 things you might not know about your library service

  1. It’s free to join – did we mention that already?
  2. The Queen visited Jubilee Library in 2007 and joined in with one of our popular Baby Boogie music sessions for pre-school children
  3. Our creative team of library staff run an annual art exhibition ‘Paperback’, featuring their own work.
  4. A grand total of 73,709 books and DVDs were borrowed by children last summer holiday over the duration of the Summer Reading Challenge.
  5. We have a fantastic range of ‘Mood Boosting Books’ and ‘Books on Prescription’ for all ages.
  6. You can hire out our conference rooms for your meetings or events.
  7. Jubilee Library has a cafe that serves delicious coffee and cake amongst other things.
  8. We have a Rare Books collection, which features manuscripts spanning over seven centuries.
  9. All of our libraries have free Wi-Fi.
  10. We have a wide selection of online resources and subscriptions available to our members for free via our website, as well as our own eBook and eAudio lending portal ‘Overdrive’.

To find more information, including opening times and location of your local library visit, connect with us on Twitter @BHLibraries or find us on Facebook.

To find out more about Young City Reads visit or follow @youngcityreads on Twitter.

For more information about World Book Day visit


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Graphic Novels now on sale at Hove Library Book shop!

1481173351153980227As the libraries are currently getting an influx of shiny new stock for our graphic novels collection, we are selling off some pre loved titles. Come and check out what we have on offer! Prices between £1.00-£2.00.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment