Libraries news and information

February 2019

Dreaming of Diamonds at Blackburn Library

Blackburn Library has been offered a limited edition book entitled “Dreams of Diamonds”. The book itself is a work of art and features photographs of diamonds from major diamond houses in the world. The creators are Alastair Laidlaw, Christine Marsden and James Whittaker (Alastair and Christine have been collaborative partners for over 30 years). Christine and James were both born and raised in Blackburn, and met as students whilst they were studying art at Blackburn College. Both Christine and James used the Library & Museum whilst they were growing up.

Alastair and Christine have worked for over 30 years photographing luxury goods for publications such as “Vogue” and “Harpers” as well as other prestigious titles and clients. Alastair is particularly well known for his “Diamond” photography. The book will be officially presented to the library at an event on Thursday 28th February starting at 7 pm. Entry will be free of charge for those who would like to come along.

Time to Talk Day

One in four of us will experience a mental health problem at some point during 2019. Time to Talk Day is an opportunity to be more open about mental health - to talk, to listen, to change lives. Come and join us at Blackburn Library from 1.30 - 3.30 pm on Thursday 7th February, enjoy a free cup of tea and a biscuit, play Scrabble or Chess or just have a chat. It's a great way to meet people, and maybe make a new friend. Tea, biscuits and advice about how the library can support mental health will also be available at Darwen Library between 1 and 4 pm.

They listen to others - now listen to them

The Samaritans is a registered charity which aims to provide emotional support to anyone in emotional distress, struggling to cope, or at risk of suicide throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Come along and discover more about the organisation which has helped untold numbers over the years, and is always there when nobody else is, at an afternoon talk at Blackburn Library on Wednesday 27th February at 2 pm. Entry is by free ticket, but donations to the Samaritans will be gratefully received on the day. Refreshments will also be available, so advance booking is requested to help us plan catering arrangements. Tel: 01254 661221 or email library@blackburn.gov.uk to reserve a place.

Half term fun at Blackburn with Darwen libraries

There'll be plenty to do at Blackburn with Darwen Libraries during half term week. Family craft events will be taking place at Darwen Library on Monday 18th February from 11 am - 12 pm, and at Blackburn Library from 2 - 3 pm. The ever popular Pendle Productions, The Storytellers Theatre Co. will return to Blackburn Library on Tuesday 19th February with performances of Alice in Wonderland in the Hornby Lecture Theatre from 11 am - 12 pm and again 2 - 3 pm. Coding Club will meet at Darwen Library on Wednesday 20th February, and also at Blackburn Library (Bill Gates Suite) on Thursday 21st February (both sessions 2 - 3.30 pm). Tickets for all events will be available from the relevant library very soon at the following prices:

  • Family craft sessions: Free of charge. Please collect a ticket in advance to avoid disappointment on the day.
  • Alice in Wonderland: £1 children, £3 accompanying adults
  • Code Club: Free of charge. Please collect a ticket in advance to avoid disappointment on the day.

Sew and Sow are planning ahead!

Why not start the new year by taking up a new hobby, getting more fresh air and making new friends? The community group "Sew and Sow" are planning their 2019 calendar and you'll find there's plenty to do. The group meets every Tuesday morning at Livesey Library and Mill Hill Library alternately, with sewing projects one week and gardening and woodwork the other. You can attend one or both if you wish. There's also the option of joining a local walking group after each session as an added bonus.

This is a very friendly group which welcomes new members and anyone who just wants to come along, see what's happening and have a cuppa and a chat. See calendar for details.

Book review: Release by Patrick Ness

This book is really two, parallel stories in one, with the action taking place over the course of one day in a small American town. The main plot involves Adam, a 17 year old youth on the cusp of adulthood who longs to get away from his claustrophobic life, and parents who seem to dominate all aspects of it. Adam's dad is an evangelical preacher with very traditional views on love and marriage - which is awkward because Adam is gay. To complicate matters still further, we meet Adam's older brother Marty early in the story, who has returned from college where he too is training to be an evangelical preacher. Marty has come home to tell their parents that he's going to get married because he's got a girl pregnant. He wants Adam to soften the blow by 'coming out' to their parents at the same time - not something that Adam is prepared to do, especially after his brother implies that Adam is incapable of knowing what real love is. As well as physical release, we therefore feel that Adam needs an emotional release from the simmering resentments that fester unspoken in his home life. As events unfold, we see Adam trying to come to terms with who and what he is through his interactions with family, work colleagues, friends and lovers (past and present).

In the parallel plot, Adam has unwittingly set a chain of events in motion which sees the spirit of a recently murdered girl combine with that of the Queen (of who or what is never entirely clear, although some sort of pagan spirit is heavily implied), and rise to stalk through the town, tracking down her murderer to confront him with the consequences of his actions. These spirits seek release from this world, and from each other, but they don't seem to know how to go about it. The tension mounts as we discover that this dilemma has to be resolved before sunset, or the consequences could be catastrophic for the whole world. Somewhat unexpectedly, I found this to be both a beautifully told love story and a page turner. The skillful if rather unlikely juxtaposition of the two plots kept me reading. The subject matter won't be everyone's cup of tea, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Release is available to borrow or reserve from Blackburn with Darwen Libraries, or to download as an eBook from the website or via the BorrowBox app.

Discover the magic of ancient Egypt

Claire Ollett is chairman of the Blackburn Egyptology Society . She has made many visits to Egypt as part of her studies, and also works on Egyptology projects in local schools. Her knowledge and enthusiasm make her an excellent speaker and she will be talking about "The Treasures of Thebes" which is an illustrated guide to the temples and tombs of Thebes (modern day Luxor) at Blackburn Museum on Thursday 14th February at 2pm. Tickets are free for Friends of Blackburn Museum, other guests £2. The Blackburn Egyptology Society meets on the first Monday of each month at Blackburn Library (7.30 pm).

Dates for your diary

Author Max Adams will be talking about his recent book, "Unquiet Women", a work about prominent women in history at Blackburn Library on Tuesday 5th March at 7 pm.

Calendar of events

To confirm availability at events, please phone the relevant library (unless otherwise stated):

  • Blackburn Library (01254) 661221
  • Darwen Library (01254) 706021
  • Livesey Library (01254) 209442
  • Mill Hill Library (01254) 266380
  • Roman Road Library (01254) 682347
  • King George's Hall / Darwen Library Theatre 0844 847 1664
  • Sew and Sow enquiries (01254) 587941
  • We have also been asked to include details of Friends of Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery's events. Please email enquiries@fobmag.org.uk for more information about these.
Calendar of events
Event Day Date Time Location Price Booking required Y/N
Knit & Natter Fri 01.02.19 2.30 - 3.30 pm Livesey Library N/A N
Colouring, puzzles and games Sat 02.02.19 10 am - 1.45 pm Darwen Library N/A N
Craft and Chat Mon 04.02.19 9.30 am - 1.30 pm Roman Road Library £1 N
Darwen Library Crafters Mon 04.02.19 10 am - 12 pm Darwen Library   Y
Local/Family Researchers Mon 04.02.19 10 am - 12 pm Darwen Library N/A N
IT drop-in session Mon 04.02.19 2 - 4 pm Darwen Library N/A N
IT drop in session Mon 04.02.19 2 - 4 pm Livesey Library N/A N
Family arts & crafts Mon 04.02.19 5 - 6 pm Roman Road Library N/A N
Councillor's surgery Mon 04.02.19 6 - 7 pm Roman Road Library N/A N
IT drop in session Tue 05.02.19 10 am - 12 pm Blackburn Library N/A N
Sew and Sow Tue 05.02.19 10 am - 12 pm Mill Hill Library N/A N
Tuesday Reading Group Tue 05.02.19 10.15 - 11.45 am Blackburn Library N/A N
Darwen Library Larks Tue 05.02.19 1.30 - 3 pm Darwen Library Theatre £4 N
Story time Tue 05.02.19 2 – 2.30 pm Blackburn Library N/A N
IT drop-in session Tue 05.02.19 2 - 4 pm Mill Hill Library N/A N
Course: Using the Internet Wed 06.02.19 10 am - 12 pm Blackburn Library N/A Y
Story time Wed 06.02.19 10.30 - 11 am Livesey Library N/A N
Tai Chi Wed 06.02.19 10.30 - 11.30 am Livesey Library £2 Y
Story & rhyme time Wed 06.02.19 2 - 2.30 pm Darwen Library N/A N
Toddlers' craft session Wed 06.02.19 2.30 - 3 pm Darwen Library N/A N
IT drop in session Wed 06.02.19 2 - 4pm Blackburn Library N/A N
Books @ the Pub Wed 06.02.19 6 - 7.30 pm The Postal Order N/A N
Councillor's surgery Thu 07.02.19 9.30 - 10.30 am Roman Road Library N/A N
Story time Thu 07.02.19 11 - 11.30 am Mill Hill Library N/A N
Women's group Thu 07.02.19 1 - 3 pm Roman Road Library £1 N
Course: Using the Internet Thu 07.02.19 2 - 4 pm Darwen Library N/A Y
Knit & Natter Fri 08.02.19 2.30 - 3.30 pm Livesey Library N/A N
Colouring, puzzles and games Sat 09.02.19 10 am - 1.45 pm Darwen Library N/A N
Craft and Chat Mon 11.02.19 9.30 am - 1.30 pm Roman Road Library £1 N
Darwen Library Crafters Mon 11.02.19 10 am - 12 pm Darwen Library   Y
Local/Family Researchers Mon 11.02.19 10 am - 12 pm Darwen Library N/A N
IT drop-in session Mon 11.02.19 2 - 4 pm Darwen Library N/A N
IT drop in session Mon 11.02.19 2 - 4 pm Livesey Library N/A N
Friends of Darwen Library Mon 11.02.19 3 - 4.15 pm Darwen Library N/A N
Family arts & crafts Mon 11.02.19 5 - 6 pm Roman Road Library N/A N
Darwen Library Reading Group Mon 11.02.19 5.45 - 6.45 pm Darwen Library N/A N
IT drop in session Tue 12.02.19 10 am - 12 pm Blackburn Library N/A N
Sew and Sow Tue 12.02.19 10 am - 12 pm Livesey Library N/A N
Tuesday Reading Group Tue 12.02.19 10.15 - 11.45 am Blackburn Libray N/A N
Darwen Library Larks Tue 12.02.19 1.30 - 3 pm Darwen Library Theatre £4 N
Story time Tue 12.02.19 2 – 2.30 pm Blackburn Library N/A N
IT drop-in session Tue 12.02.19 2 - 4 pm Mill Hill Library N/A N
Course: Google Docs Wed 13.02.19 10 am - 12 pm Blackburn Library N/A Y
Story time Wed 13.02.19 10.30 - 11 am Livesey Library N/A N
Tai Chi Wed 13.02.19 10.30 - 11.30 am Livesey Library £2 Y
Story & rhyme time Wed 13.02.19 2 - 2.30 pm Darwen Library N/A N
Toddlers' craft session Wed 13.02.19 2.30 - 3 pm Darwen Library N/A N
IT drop in session Wed 13.02.19 2 - 4 pm Blackburn Library N/A N
Chatterbooks Wed 13.02.19 3.45 - 4.45 pm Darwen Library N/A N
Councillor's surgery Thu 14.02.19 9.30 - 10.30 am Roman Road Library N/A N
Story time Thu 14.02.19 11 - 11.30 am Mill Hill Library N/A N
Women's group Thu 14.02.19 1 - 3 pm Roman Road Library £1 N
Course: Google Docs Thu 14.02.19 2 - 4 pm Darwen Library N/A Y
Talk: Treasures of Thebes Thu 14.02.19 2 pm Blackburn Museum £2  
Knit & Natter Fri 15.02.19 2.30 - 3.30 pm Livesey Library N/A N
Colouring, puzzles and games Sat 16.02.19 10 am - 1.45 pm Darwen Library N/A N
Councillor's surgery Sat 16.02.19 10.30 - 11.30 am Darwen Library N/A N
Craft and Chat Mon 18.02.19 9.30 am - 1.30 pm Roman Road Library £1 N
Local/Family Researchers Mon 18.02.19 10 am - 12 pm Darwen Library N/A N
Family craft session Mon 18.02.19 11am - 12 pm Darwen Library N/A Y
Family craft session Mon 18.02.19 2 - 3 pm Blackburn Library N/A Y
IT drop-in session Mon 18.02.19 2 - 4 pm Darwen Library N/A N
IT drop in session Mon 18.02.19 2 - 4 pm Livesey Library N/A N
Family arts & crafts Mon 18.02.19 5 - 6 pm Roman Road Library N/A N
IT drop in session Tue 19.02.19 10 am - 12 pm Blackburn Library N/A N
Sew and Sow Tue 19.02.19 10 am - 12 pm Mill Hill Library N/A N
Tuesday Reading Group Tue 19.02.19 10.15 - 11.45 am Blackburn Libray N/A N
Tuesday Reading Group Tue 19.02.19 10.15 - 11.45 am Blackburn Libray N/A N
Alice in Wonderland Tue 19.02.19 11 am - 12 pm Blackburn Library £1 children, £3 adults Y
Darwen Library Larks Tue 19.02.19 1.30 - 3 pm Darwen Library Theatre £4 N
Alice in Wonderland Tue 19.02.19 2 - 3 pm Blackburn Library £1 children, £3 adults Y
IT drop-in session Tue 19.02.19 2 - 4 pm Mill Hill Library N/A N
Story time Wed 20.02.19 10.30 - 11 am Livesey Library N/A N
Tai Chi Wed 20.02.19 10.30 - 11.30 am Livesey Library £2 Y
Code Club Wed 20.02.19 2 - 3.30 pm Darwen Library N/A Y
IT drop in session Wed 20.02.19 2 - 4 pm Blackburn Library N/A N
Councillor's surgery Thu 21.02.19 9.30 - 10.30 am Roman Road Library N/A N
Story time Thu 21.02.19 11 - 11.30 am Mill Hill Library N/A N
Women's group Thu 21.02.19 1 - 3 pm Roman Road Library £1 N
Code Club Thu 21.02.19 2 - 3.30 pm Blackburn Library N/A Y
Livesey Reading Group Thu 21.02.19 7 - 8 pm Livesey Library N/A N
Knit & Natter Fri 22.02.19 2.30 - 3.30 pm Livesey Library N/A N
Colouring, puzzles and games Sat 23.02.19 10 am - 1.45 pm Darwen Library N/A N
Craft and Chat Mon 25.02.19 9.30 am - 1.30 pm Roman Road Library £1 N
Darwen Library Crafters Mon 25.02.19 10 am - 12 pm Darwen Library   Y
Local/Family Researchers Mon 25.02.19 10 am - 12 pm Darwen Library N/A N
IT drop-in session Mon 25.02.19 2 - 4 pm Darwen Library N/A N
Family arts & crafts Mon 25.02.19 5 - 6 pm Roman Road Library N/A N
IT drop in session Tue 26.02.19 10 am - 12 pm Blackburn Library N/A N
Sew and Sow Tue 26.02.19 10 am - 12 pm Livesey Library N/A N
Tuesday Reading Group Tue 26.02.19 10.15 - 11.45 am Blackburn Libray N/A N
Darwen Library Larks Tue 26.02.19 1.30 - 3 pm Darwen Library Theatre £4 N
Story time Tue 26.02.19 2 – 2.30 pm Blackburn Library N/A N
IT drop-in session Tue 26.02.19 2 - 4 pm Mill Hill Library N/A N
Course: Mouse and Keyboard Wed 27.02.19 10 am - 12 pm Blackburn Library N/A Y
Story time Wed 27.02.19 10.30 - 11 am Livesey Library N/A N
Tai Chi Wed 27.02.19 10.30 - 11.30 am Livesey Library £2 Y
Samaritans talk Wed 27.02.19 2 pm Blackburn Library £3 Y
Story & rhyme time Wed 27.02.19 2 - 2.30 pm Darwen Library N/A N
Toddlers' craft session Wed 27.02.19 2.30 - 3 pm Darwen Library N/A N
IT drop in session Wed 27.02.19 2 - 4 pm Blackburn Library N/A N
Councillor's surgery Thu 28.02.19 9.30 - 10.30 am Roman Road Library N/A N
Story time Thu 28.02.19 11 - 11.30 am Mill Hill Library N/A N
Women's group Thu 28.02.19 1 - 3 pm Roman Road Library £1 N
Course: Mouse and Keyboard Thu 28.02.19 2 - 4 pm Darwen Library N/A Y
Diamond Book Donation & Talk Thu 28.01.19 7 -9 pm Blackburn Library N/A Y
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