Revamp delivers state-of-the-art library for Hastings

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east sussex library and information service

January 2018

Welcome to the latest edition of your library newsletter. 

You are receiving this newsletter because you told us you wanted to hear more about the libraries in East Sussex. You'll receive regular updates telling you all about the latest goings on across the Library and Information Service. 

If at anytime you don't want to receive these newsletters you can unsubscribe using the link at the bottom of this email.

Revamp delivers state-of-the-art library for Hastings


Our major project to refurbish Hastings Library is nearing completion and we’re delighted to announce that the library will reopen to the public at 10am on Friday 2 March. 

The interior of the library in Claremont, Hastings, has been completely refurbished with new furniture, more computers, free Wi-Fi and improved toilet facilities.  It will be a fantastic asset to Hastings, creating a modern and vibrant library in the historic and architecturally beautiful Grade II listed Brassey building. 

The improvements will enable us to bring the Children's Library, formerly based in nearby Robertson Passage, into the Brassey Institute.  The library will host children’s activities including Code Clubs, Rhymetime and Storytime, while adults can join IT For You to develop computer skills or ask for help in a Computer Buddy session.  As usual, we’ll have a wide range of books to borrow and reference information available, as well as DVDs, and health, wellbeing and reminiscence resources.

Our public computers provide free access to the internet, training courses, online reference materials, research programs for family history, and our Learning Services computer suite has been completely upgraded, providing opportunities to improve literacy, numeracy and computer skills.

The temporary library in Robertson Passage will close at 5pm on Saturday 24 February to enable us to move stock to the new library. During the move, from Monday 26 February to Thursday 1 March, library services will be available at Hollington or Ore libraries.  Opening hours can be found at or by calling 0345 60 90 196.  Don’t forget that you can also use our eLibrary with eBooks, eAudibooks and eMagazines.

We would like to thank everyone in Hastings for their patience during this major project and hope you enjoy your new library.

Get creative with the Hastings Library writer in residence

Writer in Residence

Do you want to take part in a creative writing workshop or try your hand at some writing at home?

There are now creative writing workshops available at Hastings Library, thanks to our new writer in residence, Alan Ward.

Alongside the workshops you can also try out some writing in the comfort of your own home with the help of some prompts Alan has published. Plus, if you submit your work online, you may even be invited to read at the official opening ceremony of the refurbished library later this year! To find out more about the workshop dates, writing tips and more, please visit Alan’s blog.

Alan also organises creative writing workshops with local organisations. If you have a group of willing participants who you think could benefit you can get in touch with him online.

Our writer in residence will be running workshops and offering support until March, and is funded through an Arts Council England grant as part of the Advantage East Sussex project.

Most borrowed books in 2017


With the start of the new year we look back on which books were most borrowed in 2017 from our libraries.

It's no surprise that crime novels once again dominate our top 10 list with Love You Dead (Peter James), Make Me and Night School (both by Lee Child) appearing in both our books and eBooks top 10 lists.

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, has remained popular in 2017 and was the most downloaded eBook.  No doubt the DVD release in early 2017 encouraged even more people to read this thriller.

Only one children's book made the top 10 this year, Superworm, this well-loved book combines Julia Donaldson's engaging words with Axel Scheffler's iconic illustrations to produce another award-winning children's book. 

Supporting those with visual impairments

VIP sessions

Dan and Dawn, two of our fab library volunteers at Bexhill Library, are supporting people with visual impairments to access our resources, including training people to use the EyePal Solo and Prodigi machines, which give visually impaired people access to books, newspapers and printed material. The new machines were funded by an Arts Council England grant for our Advantage East Sussex project.

Dan and Dawn are also on hand to help people to access our library computers as well as personal laptops, tablets and smart phones. This is a drop in session on a Wednesday afternoon at Bexhill library from 2pm - 4pm and all are welcome regardless of ability or impairment.

Diary of events

Did you know you can use if you are looking to join a new club in January, or want to find out what is going on in your local community. 

You can also find out what is happening in our libraries. Forthcoming events include:

The online community directory lists over 8,000 local groups, organisations and clubs, plus a diary of upcoming events. ESCIS covers East Sussex and Brighton & Hove. It is free to be listed, free to use, and the information is constantly updated.

New DVDs out this month


This month we have lots of new DVD boxsets available for you to hire. So while it's still cold outside, why not borrow a boxset and spend some time catching up on a series you may have missed on the TV.

Our latest boxsets include:

  • Peaky blinders,
  • Blue planet 2,
  • The White Princess.