10 Things To Celebrate About Storyhouse Library #LibrariesWeek

It’s Libraries Week 2022, celebrating the UK’s much-loved libraries and the central role they play in people’s lives. In the past 12 months (Sept 2021-Aug 2022) Storyhouse library has:
issued 176,303 books
signed up 3,978 new borrowers
facilitated 19,978 computer sessions
held 208 Rhymetimes  (with 3,536 rhymes sung)
provided 685 hours of children’s craft activities (137 hours of clearing up afterwards!)
hosted 151 reading group gatherings
and opened to the community for 5,460 hours.

Here’s 10 Things To Celebrate About Storyhouse Library:

1. Late Night Library – Storyhouse Library has the longest opening hours of any library in the UK. You can browse, take out, return and renew books or sit and read (with a coffee or a wine, if you’d like) from 8.30am-11pm each day, or from 9.30am on Sundays. The library team are around to help from 8.30am-7pm each day.

2. Opened With A Bookworm – Chester Library moved into the Storyhouse building in May 2017, with a Bookworm. A line of local volunteers, schoolchildren and library staff passed books from the old library building to the new one, and the former library team moved over to Storyhouse along with the books!

3. New Books Every Day – Storyhouse Library gets fresh book deliveries every single day! Drop in to see the latest deliveries and releases, and chat to the library team.

4. Reading Groups (and Not Reading Groups) – Storyhouse is home to lots of reading groups, from Sci Fi Reading Group to LGBT+ Reading Group and more. Not A Reading Group is a little different – there is no required reading. Instead, we’ll talk about books that we’ve read, those that we’ve enjoyed, those that we would recommend and those we are looking forward to. Everyone is welcome. Young Readers is a book club for young adults (14-21) where we chat about all things book-related and work with the Storyhouse Library team to curate the Young Adult section of the Library.

5. Digital Buddies and DigiPal – Digital Buddies are a support group that help older people to use technology. Find out more about Digital Buddies. Digipal is one-on-one help from a library team member. Find out more about Digipal. They can help you with anything from setting up an email address to paying bills and applying for jobs to managing your benefits, keeping in touch with your family or managing your finances.

6. Writing On The Walls – Storyhouse’s artist in residence is Benjamin Zephaniah! His poems are emblazoned throughout Storyhouse, and you can read his words about Storyhouse here.
There are also poems remaining on the walls from our previous poets-in-residence: Hollie McNish, Imtiaz Dharker and Lemn Sissay.

7. Conversations With Friends – Storyhouse Library is home to lots of Conversation Groups, giving anyone learning a new language, or for whom English isn’t their first language, a chance to chat, practice and meet new people. Take a look at Language and Culture Cafe, English Conversation, Spanish Storytelling and more here.

8. Find Your New Favourite – If you tell us some books you’ve enjoyed, or anything that you’re interested in, Storyhouse’s librarians will help you discover books you’ll love! We can also help you choose books for a friend or family member. When placing an order you will be asked for the:

  • the type of books you would like e.g. crime, family sagas, humour
  • the format you would like them in e.g. hardback, paperback, audiobook

…and we will pick you some books that you’ll love reading. Order here or call Storyhouse Library on 01244409113 (Option 2) or email library@storyhouse.com.

9. Books To Listen To (and more!) – as well as regular books, by joining the library you can access a wealth of audiobooks, ebooks, newspapers, magazines and archives –  completely free. Find out more here.

10. The Storytelling Room – the Storytelling Room has become a very special Halloween-themed autumn cave, with regular storytelling and crafts in The Den nearby. Come and explore – there’s a free Halloween party coming soon too.

AND It’s FREE! It’s completely free to join Storyhouse Library and make use of all of the services listed here, plus lots more. You can take out up to 20 books at a time, and renew them online. You can join the library by visiting Storyhouse, or online – to join online head here and complete the form, and then email libraries@cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk with your full name, date of birth and postcode and you’ll receive your card number.

For Chester Literature Festival, we’re asking you to write a Love Letter To Libraries – you can drop in Storyhouse in November to write a letter, or write us one online here.
Read Benjamin Zephaniah’s letter to Storyhouse here.