Harry Potter events, local history talks, opportunities to trace family history online and a chance for people to share what they love about their library are some of the activities planned as part of celebrations for National Libraries Day on 6 February.
During the week leading up to the day, Wiltshire Council libraries will be offering a series of free activities celebrating and highlighting some of the many services they provide.
This will include a celebration of J K Rowling’s Harry Potter books as part of the second ever national Harry Potter Book Night on Thursday 4 February in nine libraries (Bradford on Avon, Calne, Chippenham, Devizes, Melksham, Salisbury, Trowbridge, Warminster and Westbury). Plus further Harry Potter activities at Amesbury on 1 February, and Corsham and Tidworth on 2 February.
Jonathon Seed, cabinet member for libraries said: “This is an excellent opportunity to celebrate what libraries mean to different people and with a host of activities taking place during the week. I would encourage as many people as possible to be involved.”
- There will be local history talks at a number of libraries given by staff from Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre:
- White Horses and other Wiltshire hill figures – at Bradford on Avon and Westbury Stories from the Lacock Archives at Melksham
- Dens of Satan, Nightwalkers and Poor Labourers: Maintaining Order and Social Justice in seventeenth century Wiltshire – at Warminster
For those wanting to delve into their own past there will be family history online sessions at libraries in Amesbury, Devizes, Mere, Salisbury, Trowbridge Warminster and Westbury during the week. These will include an introduction and brief ‘hints and tips’ for getting started in family history, followed by a guided tour of the Ancestry database. There will also be help on how to search for records and use the resources, followed by time for personal research.
Some other activities include a ‘Poetry Outloud’ session at Warminster – where people can share their favourite poems, an adult quiz night at Calne, a special rhyme time at Mere and a ‘Photobooth’ at Corsham where customers will be invited to share their thoughts about libraries in a photo which will be made into a collage. Salisbury will also be hosting a readers’ afternoon tea with crime writers Chris Ewan and Claire Donoghue on National Libraries Day.
People are also being asked to say what they love about their local library as part of special displays in libraries and also on social media by using the twitter handle @WiltsLibraries and the hashtag #librariesday.
Any child joining a Wiltshire library during February will be automatically entered into a prize draw and anyone visiting a library on Saturday, 6 February will be able to reserve a book, DVD or audiobook for free. There will also be a local history quiz with prizes. Further details on all the activities are available at www.wiltshire.gov.uk/whatson, or by contacting the library