News from Cambridgeshire Libraries

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cambridgeshire libraries monthly newsletter

May 2019

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Experience BBC Virtual Reality


Get ready to experience BBC storytelling like you never have before. In Virtual Reality you’re not just seeing the story, you’re part of it.

Virtual Reality (VR) means experiencing stories in a fully immersive way, pictures and sound are all around you, so what you see and hear will change depending on where you’re looking.

Tuesday 14th May at Cambridge Central Library.

Not suitable for children under 13, under 16's must be accompanied by an adult.

Look out for details in the library and on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Bookings will be via Eventbrite, details to follow.

The British Library visit Cambridge Central Library


Tell us what your library means to you.

Wednesday 8th May at Cambridge Central Library.

The British Library is asking library users to take part in research sessions to better understand how and why people use their local libraries, and to build an understanding of digital / tech usage in the library.

Come along and take part in a 5 minute activity or sign up for an interview. Look out for more information  in the library and on our social media pages.



Writing: Making Your Mark Exhibition


This pop-up exhibition features images of carved stone inscriptions, medieval manuscripts and early printed works, to deconstruct the act of writing and consider its future in the digital age. The free learning trail makes this a truly interactive experience for all ages.

Launched at Cambridge Central Library on Friday 26th April; the exhibition will then tour the following libraries until Tuesday 27th August: Huntingdon, Ely, St Ives, March, Wisbech, St Neots and Cambourne.Look out for details in libraries and on our social media pages and website.

Writing: Making Your Mark will launch simultaneously in over 20 public libraries around the UK, through the Living Knowledge Network, an innovative UK-wide network of public libraries working in partnership with the British Library, National Library of Wales and the National Library of Scotland.

Image acknowledgement: Schoolchild’s Homework in Greek on a wax tablet (c) British Library

Family Book Festival


The Library Presents Family Book Festival will be taking place in St Neots and Ramsey Libraries on 4th May 2019 and in Huntingdon Library on 11th May 2019. At this fun-filled free event there will be activities with authors, poets and illustrators: Amina Jama, Alexis Deacon, Emily Hughes, Joseph Coelho, Karin Littlewood, Sonia Leong and Tom Clohosy-Cole.

The full book festival programme is available online and in the libraries. You can also look out for details on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Free tickets can be booked at the participating libraries or by phone on 0345 045 5200.

New Books for May


We have lots of new books, eBooks and eAudiobooks. Get a cup of tea and give yourself a treat.....

May New Titles

Elly Griffiths and William Shaw visit Cambourne and Wisbech Libraries


Both Elly and William are on the longlist for the 2019 Theakston Old Peculier crime novel of the year, Elly with Dark Angel and William with Salt Lane. They’ll be talking about their latest titles The Stone Circle and Deadland as well as their other works at two events on Friday 9th June.

Cambourne Library will be our venue at 2pm, we will move on to Wisbech Library for 7pm.

A selection of Elly and William's books will be on sale at each event.

Tickets are Tickets £5 from the library, call 0345 045 5225

e-mail: or

Dementia Action Week


Gaye Poole’s Connie’s Colander will be touring Cambridgeshire libraries this month.

Sensitively, and with humour, this newly written play from Human Story Theatre traces the evolving relationship of Connie and her daughter Emily throughout their lives, and the impact of Connie’s Alzheimer’s.

Wednesday 15th May: Ely Library (10.30am-12pm) and Huntingdon Library (3-4.30pm)

Thursday 16th May: Wisbech Library (2.30-4pm)

Ask in Libraries for more details and to book your free tickets. Timings include a 20 minute post-show Q&A with a panel of Dementia specialists.


Become a Dementia Friend

Sessions are running during Dementia Awareness week at the following libraries:

Monday 20th May, St Ives Library (10am – 11am) and Huntingdon Library (2pm – 3pm)

Thursday 23rd May, Great Shelford Library (10am – 11am) and Cambridge Central (2pm – 3pm)

Friday 24th May, March Library (11am – 12pm) and Ely Library (2pm – 3pm)

Please register your interest at or 01223 706803

Business & Intellectual Property Centre


This new service is in partnership with the British Library and Peterborough Libraries, and is the 12th to recently join the national network of centres, modelled on the British Library’s successful Business & IP Centre located in the heart of London.

The new service provides free access to important business and IP information, not available anywhere else in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. The Business & IP Centre is also a physical hub in Cambridge Central Library and Peterborough Central Library, with meeting rooms, networking space, and friendly staff on hand to guide people to the help and resources that they need to start and run successful businesses. For more information, links to events, and resources please visit If you would like to join our mailing list or if you would like to work with us please contact We look forward to hearing from you.


Live Streaming from the British Library: Recipes for Success

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

18:30 – 20:30

Cambridge Central Library

Hear from the founders of the food sector’s tastiest business success stories Hear from the names behind some of the UK’s most successful food and drink brands, including Praveen Vijn, co-founder of Eat Natural, Guy Singh-Watson, founder of Riverford, Nadia Stokes, founder of Gourmet Goat and Pip Murray, founder of Pip & Nut as they share stories on how they grew brands from their kitchen tables, got their products onto the supermarket shelves, developed a memorable brand and built a place for themselves in the hearts, minds and stomachs of a nation.

If you’re a small business owner in the food sector with big ambitions to take a piece of a profitable pie, don’t miss this opportunity to quiz our panel of foodie experts.

This is a free event.

Please Note :

Networking and refreshments from 18.30. Live streaming from the British Library starts at 19.00.



Monthly coffee mornings

Last Thursday of each month, 10.30am - 11.30am

At the Business & IP Centre, Cambridge Central Library

Meet, network and find out more…

Have you always wondered how the Business & IP Centre can help you turn your business idea into a reality, but weren’t really sure where to start?

Our Coffee Mornings give you the opportunity to meet us, ask questions, find out about upcoming events, make connections with other entrepreneurs, & how you can use the Centre to give your business the best possible chance of success. Free. Book

Soham Library Temporary Closure

Due to building works, there will be no parking at Soham Library from Tuesday 23rd April – we apologise for any inconvenience. Free parking is available close to the library in the car park in Ennion Close, CB7 5GU

The Library will be closed from Monday 10th June for approximately 4 weeks. Further details regarding alternative library provision will follow.



Local and Community History Month


Cambridge Founders of the Save the Children Fund

100 years ago, in May 1919, two Cambridge sisters Eglantyne Jebb and Dorothy Buxton held a meeting at the Royal Albert Hall which effectively launched the Save the Children Fund. They had been involved in humanitarian work and had seen that blockades on Germany during and after WW1 were causing children in Central Europe to starve.

Both women were among the thousands who had portrait photographs taken at the Post Office Terrace studio in Cambridge. These rare images of Eglantyne and Dorothy in their younger years are now housed in the Cambridgeshire Collection at Cambridge Central Library along with images of countless others who visited the studios between the 1860s and 1970s.

Image courtesy of The Cambridgeshire Collection


Local History Fair

Ely Library 9.30am-1pm,  Saturday 11th May,  Free entry

A lively gathering of local history and heritage experts who will help you explore your roots and learn to see your community in a new light.

From archaeology to family history, landscape to landmarks, and much more between, prepare to be inspired at this fun, interactive and informative event for all ages!

Refreshments available 10am-12pm

Mental Health Awareness Week


Mental Health Awareness Week – the national campaign led by the Mental Health Foundation – takes place between 13th and 19th of May, and the theme this year is ‘Body Image - How we think and feel about our bodies.’

We are all aware of the inter-relatedness of our body and mind—our moods can affect us physically, while the more comfortable we are with our body, the greater is our sense of wellbeing. If you would like to learn more about how to improve your mental and physical wellbeing, we have great resources in the library with books and leaflets providing information and support.

Please take a look of our Reading Well for Mental Health collection, as well as the Shelf Help collection for the young people.  You will also find many related titles in our e-book collections.

Volunteer Fayre


In March Huntingdon Library hosted a Volunteer Fayre.

‘Best Community Event we have attended’;

‘Great to see the library reaching out to the community’

‘Excellent Variety of stalls’.

25 organisations attended the event advertising a diverse range of volunteering opportunities from working with the police through to helping the Ladybird Boat Trust and, of course, helping out at the library - there really was something to tempt everyone!

It was an excellent opportunity for people to gain insight into local volunteering opportunities- over 40 people registered their interest.

The organisations were delighted to meet so many local people and to have a chance to network with each other, forging links for future community development.

As a result of this event Huntingdon Community Radio has offered to join forces with Huntingdon Library and provide some Duke of Edinburgh volunteers the chance to learn how to put a radio show together, and then host their own local radio slot, broadcasting live from the library!

If you are interested in volunteering anywhere in Cambridgeshire, for the Library Service please contact:

Library @ Home



The Library at Home Service currently needs volunteers in Buckden, Earith and Waterbeach.

If this is something you feel you could do please do get in contact. The needs of the service fluctuates throughout the county so do get in touch if you would like to volunteer as there might be other vacancies coming up soon.

Have you heard of the Library at Home Service?

If you are struggling to get out and about we can provide you with:

  • Monthly visits by a friendly volunteer
  • Your choice of books / audio
  • Useful health information
  • Time to have a chat
  • A free service – donations welcome

To find out more contact: or telephone 01223 706803

Read a Little Aloud

Read A Little Aloud

Tuesday 14th May,  10:30-11:30am, at Huntingdon Library

Tuesday 21st  May, 2pm - 3pm, at St. Ives Library

Free Event, Everyone Welcome

Refreshments Available Afterwards

Come along and listen to literature, stories and poetry for adults being read aloud.


Huntingdon Library and Learning Centre - Celebrating 10 years


Huntingdon Library and Archives is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.

The building was opened in November 2009 by Evelyn Glennie, and provides a welcoming space for all members of the community.

To celebrate, a series of special events and activities have been organised, including a Murder Mystery evening, a quiz night and a panel of women crime writers, plus a special birthday party for children. All the events will be listed on our social media platforms and in the library. 

We look forward to many more years delivering library services in the community.

Happy Birthday Elmer!


Help us celebrate Elmer's 30th Birthday

Saturday 18th May, 10.30 – 11.30, Chatteris Library - stories, craft activities and cake. For all ages. Free entry (donations welcome).

Saturday 25th May, 10am - 2pm, St Ives Library - make your very own recycled Elmer, or create an elephant collage. £2 per child. Ages 3+

Saturday 25th May, 2.15pm - 3.30pm, March Library - stories, craft activities and cake. Ages 2+. £2.50 per child including refreshments.

Tuesday 28th May, 10am - 11am, Huntingdon Library - Elmer stories and crafts. £1 per child.

Please note - Advance booking is essential at each of these events. Please speak to library staff to reserve a place. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid Crafts


Tuesday 28th May, 2.30pm  – 4pm, Chatteris Library

Diary of a Wimpy Kid themed craft session

Celebrate the launch of the new ‘Awesome Friendly Kid’ series and all things Wimpy Kid, with fun crafts and activity sheets to enjoy.

Suitable for children aged 7 and over

£2 per child includes refreshments.

Please book with Library Staff

Stop Motion Animation Workshop


Thursday 30th May, 3pm - 4pm, Ramsey Library

Introduction to simple stop motion animation using Lego and playdough. Places very limited. Advance booking essential, speak to library staff for a ticket.

£1.00 per child suitable for 6 years and over

Raptor Foundation

Wednesday 29th May, 10.00am -12.00pm, St. Neots Library

Learn about the work of the Raptor Foundation and meet some of the wonderful birds they care for.

Tickets £5 each available from St Neots Library. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Places are strictly limited, early booking advised.



Train Sets or Model Railways: EngAGE in the Afternoon


Engage in the Afternoon talk - Train Sets or Model Railways.

Wednesday 15th May, 2pm - 3.30pm, Buckden Library

Come along for an afternoon with St Neots’ Model Railway Club, learn more about model railways and see some of their models. Free event but donations welcome.

Fun With Felt: EngAGE EXTRA


Wednesday 15th May, 1.30pm - 4pm, St Ives Library

Join us for this Engage Extra workshop. Part of a series of fun felt craft workshops suitable for all abilities. Adults only.

Fun with Felt – Cupcake Treats

Create delicious looking cupcake pincushions and needle cases - no calories involved! 

£12. All materials supplied and refreshments included. Please book a place at the library or call 0345 045 5225.

Forthcoming events and activities


Click on your local library to discover what events and activities are coming up in the next few months.

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Arbury Court Library
Bar Hill Library
Barnwell Road Library, Cambridge
Buckden Library
Burwell Library
Cambourne Library
Central Library, Cambridge
Chatteris Library
Cherry Hinton Library, Cambridge
Comberton Library
Cottenham Library
Ely Library
Great Shelford Library
Histon Library
Huntingdon Library and Archives
Linton Library

Bassingbourn Library Access Point
Bottisham Library Access Point
Fulbourn Library Access Point
Gamlingay Library Access Point
Haddenham Library Access Point

Littleport Library
March Library
Milton Road Library, Cambridge
Papworth Library
Ramsey Library
Rock Road Library
Sawston Library
Sawtry Library
Soham Library
St Ives Library
St Neots Library
Warboys Library
Whittlesey Library Learning Centre
Willingham Library
Wisbech Library
Yaxley Library

Little Downham Library Access Point
Melbourn Library Access Point
Somersham Library Access Point
Swavesey Library Access Point
Waterbeach Library Access Point