News from Cambridgeshire Libraries

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Ramsey Library Temporary Closure

External view of Ramsey Library

Ramsey library will be closed from Monday 11th September through to Tuesday 26th September for refurbishment works. All items due for return during these dates will be extended. 

You can manage your account by logging in here 

Library of Sanctuary Award

Library of Sanctuary Award Logo

We are very proud to announce that Cambridgeshire Libraries have received Libraries of Sanctuary status. 

The award celebrates libraries that work hard to demonstrate hospitality, solidarity and welcome to new arrivals in the area. It follows our May 2022 pledge to follow the City of Sanctuary charter, and was awarded by City of Sanctuary UK, a national network of organisations including councils, universities, theatres and libraries that welcome and support refugees and people seeking asylum.  

Anyone living, working, visiting, or studying in Cambridgeshire or neighbouring counties can join the library. Membership is free and no documents are needed. Further details of how our services can support new arrivals can be found on our Libraries of Sanctuary page. 


Ready, Set, Read...Finish!

Summer Reading Challenge 2023 characters and logos. Ready, Set, Read!

Did your children sign up for the Summer Reading Challenge?

The finishing line is in sight, so pop them down to your local library to tell us about the six books they have read this Summer. They can then claim their special Ready, Set, Read! medal and certificate. 

All children who finish the Challenge will be invited to an Award Ceremony at their local library* to celebrate their achievement.  

We are delighted to say that over 6000 children have signed up for the Summer Reading Challenge this year, nearly 300 more than last year. 

*Sadly, the Mobile Libraries do not have the capacity to offer an Award Ceremony. 


Meet author Alison Stockham

Picture of author Alison Stockham and cover of the book The Silent Friend

Uncover the secrets and lies of The Silent Friend, a second psychological thriller by Alison Stockham, author of bestseller The Cuckoo Sister. 

Cottenham Library, Wednesday 20th September, 2pm 

Histon Library, Wednesday 4th October, 2pm 

Tickets £2. Please book in advance at the library, or contact or 0345 045 5225 


Meet author Rachel Meller 

Picture of author Rachel Meller and cover of the book The Box with the Sunflower Clasp

Local author Rachel Meller talks about her moving new book, The Box with the Sunflower Clasp, a story of family secrets and a young Jewish woman’s escape from 1930s Vienna to Shanghai. 

Histon Library, Wednesday 27th September, 2pm 

Great Shelford Library, Wednesday 4th October, 2pm 

Tickets are £3 and can be booked in the library, or email: (for Histon Library) (for Great Shelford Library)  

or call 0345 045 5225  


Meet your local children’s authors!

Children reading on a bench

A free drop-in event at Cambridge Central Library 

Saturday 9th September 11am-1pm 

Come along to chat with local authors of books for children and young people and buy their books or art prints. You can also take part in simple craft activities or listen to stories and rhymes! 

All welcome and there is no need to book - just come along on the day! Adults to stay with their children at all times. 


Read a Little Aloud at St Neots Library

A group of people reading at St Neots Library

RALA is all about the joy of shared reading. Appreciating someone’s choices, listening to an old favourite, finding something new, or just having time to listen.  

Volunteers read excerpts of writings for 5-15 minutes on an agreed theme. Fiction, non-fiction, poetry, newspapers – anything at all.   

Those who come to listen, can also bring something to read if they wish, or just listen and enjoy.   

Our volunteer Liz says “We had Blue as the theme a few months ago and had everything from where artists’ blue pigments come from to the T.A.R.D.I.S!  Incidentally, a lovely by-product of sitting in the library with a cup of tea and a biscuit and reading aloud is that people who are browsing the library shelves will often stop when they recognise a text, listen for a few minutes, smile and continue with their day. Again, the joy of shared reading.”  

For regular attendees, RALA is about different things:  

‘a beautiful and inclusive community, perfect for discovering new books and stories’ 

‘an enjoyable hour reading a variety of items including parts of novels, plays and poetry.  A friendly group, who welcomes newcomers’  

‘the RALA sessions are a good opportunity to both introduce new stories to members as well as listen to classics either familiar or new’  

RALA at St Neots Library takes place on the first Wednesday of each month from 2 – 3pm. Everyone is welcome.  No need to book, just come along, sit and enjoy. 


Other RALA sessions around the county: 

Cambridge Central Library: Next session is Thursday 14th September at 11 am on the 3rd floor. For more information, go to Cambridgeshire Libraries Events | Eventbrite 

Ely Library: On the Fourth Tuesday of each month, at 10.30am. For more information, ask at Ely library.


New Books

Book covers showing a selection of new book choices for September

Click on the button below to take a look at our full selection of new books for September.


New Books


Cambridgeshire Listens and Reads

Book covers of Cambridgeshire Listen and Read selection for September

Our Cambridgeshire Listens and Cambridgeshire Reads collections bring you a wide range of books to borrow in eBook or eAudiobook format. Available for multiple use, they're great for reading groups and workplace reads. You can even listen and read at the same time!

Each month the selection of adult, young adult and children's titles are refreshed - they're available to borrow over a 60 day period. Try the links to look at this month's offerings. 

We have 7 titles available as both Reads and Listens this month:

The Love of my Life by Rosie Walsh; Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver; Heaven by Emma Donoghue; The Heron's Cry by Ann Cleeves; Find Them Dead by Peter James; The Night Ship by Jess Kidd; One for Sorrow, Two for Joy by Marie-Claire Amuah.


Cambridgeshire Reads


Book covers of Cambridgeshire Listens selection for September

We also have 8 adult fiction and non fiction titles available as just Listens:

Just Got Real by Jane Fallon, Deception by Lesley Pearse, The Family Remains by Lisa Jewel, The Hotel on the Riviera by Carol Kirkwood, Run Time by Catherine Ryan-Howard, Ransom by David Malouf, Nights of Plague by Orhan Pamuk, How to Be Hopeful by Bernadette Russell.


Cambridgeshire Listens


Book covers showing a selection of Teen and Children's Books

Also available are these 4 junior and teen titles:

Magic Mix by Stephen Mulhern, Family of Liars by E. Lockhart, Shadow Town by Richard Lambert, The Mystery of the Burnt Cottage by Enid Blyton. 


Junior Reads


Junior Listens



Heritage Open Days

Creativity Unwrapped Logo

Heritage Open Days will be taking place right across the county from 8th – 17th September.

The theme this year is Creativity Unwrapped. There are activities for everyone, with lots of tours around buildings you don’t normally get to see. See the full event listings on the Heritage Open Days website.



Greening Your Home – advice from a climate scientist

Thermal Image of a street corner and picture of scientist Jonathan Gregory

Cambridge Central Library, Saturday 7th October, 2pm 

Learn about climate change and the practical steps we can take to make our homes greener. 

Jonathan Gregory is a climate expert and professor who has made changes to upgrade his own house to a ‘SuperHome’. He'll be talking about his work as a high level climate scientist as well as giving practical tips on changes we can make to our own homes to make them energy efficient and more sustainable. 

Jonathan’s presentation will be followed by a Q&A session. Information on local grants and programmes to support greening your home will be available after the talk. 

Professor Gregory is a senior scientist at the National Centre for Atmospheric Science in the University of Reading, as well as a Met Office Science Fellow in climate change at the Hadley Centre. 

The presentation will also be live-streamed on the day to the following libraries in Cambridgeshire: Ely, Huntingdon, March, St Ives, St Neots, Wisbech. Please ask staff for more information. If you would like to submit a question in advance, please do so using this link: 


End Digital Poverty Day 12th September

A helping hand reaching out of a laptop screen

Digital exclusion can widen existing inequalities in society or introduce new inequalities. Those without access to digital resources face barriers in education, employment opportunities, healthcare and social inclusion. 

Find out more:                     

How can we help?

Cambridgeshire Libraries has a device loan scheme LendIT which offers laptops, tablets and Mifi devices for loan. All you need is a library card.

All of our libraries have public computers and free Camwifi.

We also have Digital Buddies to support you. Our libraries are part of the Digital Inclusion Hub network offering Learn My Way short courses to get you started on your digital journey.


National Coding Week

National Coding Week Logo

Celebrate National Coding Week by taking part in some of our coding activities in libraries! 

CoderDojo is returning to Cambridge Central Library on Saturday 9 September! If you're between the ages of 7-17, then you’re invited to come along and learn how to code or work on your own projects with support from our volunteers. Book via our Eventbrite page or by picking up an application form in the library! 

Ely Library’s Code Club will restart on Saturday 23rd September, then take place on every 4th Saturday, 10am -12 noon. You don’t need to book in advance, but if you do want to reserve a place, please ask at the library desk or email:  


National Reading Group Day

People sitting in a circle with books. Photo by Jack Hishmeh on Unsplash

Have you ever thought about joining a reading group or book club? On 14 September we’ll be celebrating National Reading Group Day, run by national charity The Reading Agency.  

84% of people feel more connected to other people because of being part of a reading group. If you want to discover and talk about new books and meet new people, have a word with staff in your library to find out about joining or starting a reading group. 

Readers in the area are welcome to attend the re-launch of Great Shelford Library’s reading group on Wednesday 13th September, 10:30-11:30am. Ask in the library for more details.

For more information, go to Cambridgeshire Libraries Reading Groups


Roald Dahl Story Day

Roal Dahl Story Day Logo and characters

“Books shouldn't be daunting, they should be funny, exciting and wonderful.” Roald Dahl.

And this certainly describes his marvellous stories, for adults as well as children. So, rediscover them this September in celebration of his birthday on the 13th, now known globally as Roald Dahl Story Day. 

Look out for our posts on our social media channels about our collections of print and eBooks. @cambsLibFamilies @cambslib 

Check our catalogue for titles to borrow or reserve: Roald Dahl Cambridgeshire Libraries


Sunday Scribes is Back!

Three smiling people sitting on the grass writing.

Sunday Scribes, Cambridge Central Library’s popular creative writing group, is back from the 17 September! 

Sunday Scribes meets monthly from 2-3pm on the 3rd floor of Cambridge Central Library. Bring some poems or a piece of fiction and come along to this friendly group for writers of all kinds.

All welcome!  


Cycle September 2023

A librarian wearing a helmet and a Hi Vis vest, holding Bessie the book bike in front of a mobile library

Cycle September is a fun, free and friendly biking challenge. You, your friends and co-workers are all invited to take part. The aim is simple - to get more people enjoying the benefits of riding bikes.  

By logging your bike trips on Love to Ride or by using an app, you can win great prizes. You can ride anywhere, anytime in September to participate. More prizes are up for grabs if you encourage other people to get involved, too.  

There are so many benefits to riding a bike: from improved mental and physical well-being to a healthier planet, to more affordable and efficient travel. Cycle September is all about celebrating each of these benefits and sharing them with the world.  

So, push those pedals, spread the bike love, and join the movement to get more people riding bikes this September! Sign up to the fun now at 

Don’t forget to include visiting the library into your cycle route.  We have bike racks outside libraries or on streets nearby. 

#CycleSeptember #LoveToRide 


The Library Presents Autumn Season is now live for ticket booking.

Two performers throwing poker cards towards the camera.

Back for a jam-packed autumn season of arts activities in libraries across the county. As always, there are performances and workshops to suit all ages, with music, theatre, dance, magic, puppetry and even some film.

The season starts on 1st October 2023 with a reduced version of Macbeth, ‘the Scottish Play’, and runs through to mid-December, with arts and crafts workshops and many more performances. There is a theme of horror, murder and chills, with Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde, murder mystery and sinister silent film; but the season also has a lighter side, with fairy tales, magic and balloons. Altogether there is a glorious mix of uplifting, enchanting and playful treats for the autumn months ahead. There are Relaxed Events, British Sign Language Events, Captioned Events and Audio Described events taking place.  

Tickets available now. Book 

Telephone: 01353 616991 

In person at Participating Libraries (cash only) 

On the door at all activities (subject to availability/cash only) 

By Exchanging Digital Time Credits 


Jumpstart your Business!

BIPC promotional slogan. Text reads, Jump into your new business with BIPC Jumpstart

Are you an aspiring entrepreneur with a brilliant business idea? Look no further - we can help you! We have £75K to give away in Jumpstart grants with top prizes of £10K for pre-start-ups and start-up businesses. Don’t miss our BIPC Jumpstart support programme aimed to help you get started: 

11 September – How to use a business model canvas to launch your start-up - the world’s most popular entrepreneurial business tool. 

19 September onwards – Stuart’s Business Planning Virtual 1:1’s - if you are looking to set up a new business you want to make sure you have covered all the key elements. 

19 September – Business ideas need research! Discover how to make the most of our business resources to research your industry, competitors, and more!  

Details on these events and many more BIPC Jumpstart Support Programme | Eventbrite 

More information on our grants and a full list of terms and conditions 


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You'll find access to, encyclopaedias, directories, genealogy, online film, history, music, business resources and so much more.

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