How well do you know your local library?
You might think of a calm, warm and relaxing environment packed with fascinating, educational, and inspiring books – and you’d be right – but there’s so much more going on behind those doors.
From study spaces, adult learning courses, free computers and Wi-Fi, to story time for children… libraries have something for everyone.
Of course, you can always pop in and just relax, soak up the atmosphere or meet a friend.
Here’s some of the brilliant things on offer in your library.
All our libraries in East Sussex offer free Wi-Fi and computer use.
On our computers, you can search your family history with free access to Ancestry and Find My Past, make job applications, use video editing software, use printers and more.
You can book a study space for a change of scenery to really focus on a particular project, while being surrounded by books and a whole range of free resources. Find a different headspace at your local library: Book a study space.
Explore new worlds with your little ones. Have fun singing, playing musical instruments and learning rhymes with your baby or toddler in our libraries. These events are free of charge and a great way to meet other parents and carers. Find out more: Rhyme time and story time.
Reading Friends brings people together to read, share stories, meet new friends, and have fun. Whether it’s about books, magazines, newspapers or anything else reading is a great way to get chatting to people! You can either come to a Reading Friends group in the library or have a home visit that brings the library to you.
Find out more: Reading Friends
Want to boost your IT skills or confidence? IT For You offers one to one computer support to adults at their local library, including Microsoft office, staying in touch with friends and family, and using the NHS app. You choose the skills you learn, there are no tests and no exams, and you can attend as many or as few sessions as you need.
Find out more: IT For You.
Step into Reading supports adults with learning to read. Learners meet one-to-one with a volunteer every week in a library and work through a reading scheme at their own pace. Whether it’s improving your skills, learning to read, or learning English as a second language, there are a range of books and resources to support you.
Find out more: Step into Reading
You can take courses online to help improve your maths or English skills, plus gain a qualification that is the equivalent of an A-C at GCSE (new grade 9 – 4). These courses are a good choice if you would like to increase your confidence with numbers, data handling or improving your written or verbal communication skills. You’ll have a tutor who will support you every step of the way too.
Find out more about our learning services.
Reminiscing – sharing stories and talking about memories and experiences from the past – can benefit people with memory loss or dementia and support their wellbeing. Your local library holds several reminiscence resources, including books, games, and reminiscence boxes, which are free to reserve and borrow.
Have a look at the library catalogue on the website, or pop into your nearest library.
Libraries offer services for people who have problems with sight or hearing, learning disabilities, or difficulty getting to the library.
Many resources are available at your local library, or staff can order books from other libraries and deliver them to you. This includes large print books, audiobooks, and specialist equipment for people who are visually impaired.
Most libraries are accessible by wheelchair, and each library has a computer with a large screen, large print keyboard and access to an on-screen keyboard, screen magnifier and accessibility settings for the mouse.
If you can’t easily use your library due to disability, frailty, or caring responsibilities, the home library service can come to you.
Find out more: Library services for disabled people
Of course, your local library remains a welcoming space for you to pop into and pick out your latest reading material to borrow. Joining is easy if you’re not already a member. You can either join online or visit a library with proof of your name and address. All library members are now entitled to six free reservations, so you can borrow books from around the county without any charge.
Many libraries also hold regular events to celebrate various occasions and awareness weeks, such as Loneliness Awareness Week, the Summer Reading Challenge, Banned Books Week, Black History Month and more. These often feature author talks and other activities.
You can also get involved by volunteering at your local library. Volunteering is a wonderful way to meet new people, learn new skills and give back to your local community. Find out more about the roles on offer: Volunteer at your local library.
We hope you’re feeling inspired to learn more about your local library and make the most of the services on offer.
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