Libraries Newsletter

June 2022

Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations
This month's activities and events are dominated by celebrations commemorating HM The Queen's Platinum Jubilee.  Please note that all libraries will be closed on Thursday 2nd and Friday 3rd June for the bank holidays, but those libraries which usually open on Saturdays will be open as usual on Saturday 4th June.
  • All week: Blackburn Central Library has a 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzle available for customers, staff and volunteers to try and complete in time for the Jubilee celebrations.  Have a look next time you're in, and see if you can help us put all the pieces together.  You can also admire the display of archive photos in the lobby, depicting royal visits and occasions in the borough over the years.

  • Tuesday 31st MayPendle Productions, The Storytellers Theatre Co. will be bringing Lewis Carroll's traditional tale 'Alice Through the Looking Glass' to life at Blackburn Central Library (10.30 - 11.30 am) and Darwen Library (3 - 4 pm).  There are still a few free tickets left for the performance at Blackburn Library, but please note that the Darwen performance is now sold out.
  • Wednesday 1st June, Blackburn Library Read, rhythm & rhyme with royal themed stories and refreshments, 10.30 - 11 am, followed by Jubilee themed reminiscence session with free tea or coffee from 11 am - 12 pm.
  • Wednesday 1st June, Cherry Tree Library:  Jubilee themed reminiscence session, talking about memories of royalty and old photographs.  Wear red, white and blue colours if you can (2 - 3 pm).
  • Saturday 4th June, Blackburn Library Jubilee fun themed activity for children.  Drop in and make a crown during library opening hours (10 am - 4 pm).
First Jubilee events a huge success at Darwen Library

Sticking with the Jubilee theme, on Monday 23rd May, artist and writer Thomas Daniel Byrne brought his 'Jubilation Station' to Darwen Library to encourage people to sit and talk, write or otherwise share their stories as part of a project called 'Jubilation' which is touring libraries all across the North West.  The project aims to discover, celebrate and record the stories and achievements of local people/community members that have taken place during the reign of HM Queen Elizabeth II.  Tom will gather as many of the stories as possible and edit them into a 'Book of Jubilations' which will be available to see in the library later in the year.  Tom's day started with a workshop for the Darwen Library Crafters, and then he spent the rest of the day chatting with interested customers.
Some of the Darwen Library Crafters sitting around Tom's Jubilation Station

Meanwhile on Saturday 28th May, many people came along to Darwen Library and enjoyed a royal themed story time for children at 11 am, with kings, queens, princes and princesses galore.  Children then made their own crowns and flags from 11.30 am and at 12 pm the Darwen Library Larks community choir dropped in to give the celebrations a musical flavour.  Tea, coffee and cake were available between 11 am and 1 pm.  Special thanks to the Darwen Library Crafters group for the beautiful hand made bunting they provided to decorate the library for the occasion.
Free creative writing programme on offer
for children age 9 - 11 this summe


We are once again working with literary arts organisation Read Now Write Now, who are running free online courses for children to write stories about what they think life will be like in 2050, thanks to a grant from Arts Council England, supported by Blackburn with Darwen Libraries.  These Zoom based sessions are for children age 9 - 11 years, and will last for four weeks.
Led by author Charlie Lea, young children will be guided on how to write amazing stories, looking at top tips and lots of literary devices and techniques to help on the way.  These stories will then be displayed online, in libraries, recorded and presented onto YouTube & Spotify and there will be an opportunity to read out stories at special storytelling events.
To join, simply choose one of the courses to attend:
  • Mondays, 5 - 6.30 pm, starting 13th June 2022 for 4 weeks.
  • Tuesdays, 5 - 6.30 pm, starting 14th June 2022 for 4 weeks.
  • Wednesdays, 5 - 6.30 pm, starting 15th June for 4 weeks.
  • Saturdays, 11 am - 12.30 pm, starting 18th June for 4 weeks.
Contact to book on a first come, first served basis.  All sessions will be delivered via Zoom.
Sew & Sow group returns

We're delighted to announce that our long running Sew & Sow group which runs gardening projects at Cherry Tree Library and sewing/craft projects at Mill Hill Library (in the community centre) is now back up and running following a long break due to Covid restrictions.  The group now meets on Thursday mornings from 10 am - 12 pm (note the change of day), and for the time being at least, both groups will meet every week.  For more information you can contact Andrew Orr (01254) 587941, or simply turn up and 'have a go'.

Regular weekly events programme
(in addition to the special events listed above)

Craft & Chat group at Mill Hill Library, Fridays 10.30 am - 12 pm

Blackburn Central Library (tel: 01254 661221)
  • Mon, 2 - 4 pm, IT drop in
  • Tue, 10.15 - 11.45 am, Tuesday Reading Group
  • Wed, 10 am - 12 pm, IT drop-in
  • Wed, 10.30 - 11 am, Read, Rhythm & Rhyme
  • Wed, 1.30 - 3 pm, IT course (see schedule below)*
Darwen Library (tel: 01254 706021)
  • Mon, 10 am - 12 pm, Darwen Library Crafters
  • Mon, 5.45 - 6.45 pm, Reading group (13/06 only)
  • Tue, 1.30 - 3 pm, Darwen Library Larks choir (£5)
  • Wed, 2 - 2.30 pm, Story & rhyme time (term time only)
  • Fri, 10 am - 12 pm, IT drop in
  • Fri, 10.30 - 11 am, Story & rhyme time (term time only)
  • Fri, 2 - 3.30 pm, IT course (see schedule below)*
  • Sat, 11 - 11.30 am, Story time, colouring & puzzles
Cherry Tree Library (tel: 01254 209442)
  • Mon, 2 - 3 pm, 'Brew time'
  • Mon, 2 - 4 pm, IT drop in (06/06 only)
  • Tue, 1.30 - 2.30 pm, Seated Tai Chi (book via Age UK)
  • Wed, 10.30 - 11 am, Story time
  • Wed, 11 am - 12 pm, 'Brew time'
  • Wed, 2 - 3 pm, Reminiscence session (01/06 only)
  • Fri, 2 - 4 pm, Knit & Natter
Mill Hill Library (tel: 01254 266380)
  • Wed, 11 am - 12 pm, Reading group (01/06 only)
  • Thu, 10 am - 12 pm, IT drop in (09/06 only)
  • Thu, 11 - 11.30 am, Story time
  • Fri, 10.30 am - 12 pm, Craft & Chat
Roman Road Library (tel: 01254 682347)
  • Mon, 5 - 7 pm, Youth group
  • Wed, 12 - 2 pm, Craft group
  • Thu, 9.30 - 11.30 am, IT drop in (30/06 only)
IT courses (booking required)
  • GMail basics: 01/06 (Blackburn), 10/06 (Darwen)
  • Using the Internet: 08/06 (Blackburn), 17/06 (Darwen)
  • Google Docs: 15/06 (Blackburn), 24/06 (Darwen)
Richard & Judy book club latest

New from Blackburn with Darwen Libraries


Mystery History

Congratulations if you correctly identified last month's photo as being Earnsdale Road in Darwen, overlooking Sunnyhurst Woods.  It was a tricky one this time, taken by the late father of Ann Stokes who is one of our local history volunteers.  Although the picture dates from 2012 (it's hard to believe even that is 10 years ago now), the road resurfacing works in the picture had temporarily exposed a much earlier cobbled surface.  Here's a photo from a similar spot, looking in the other direction.  Our thanks to Ann for sharing these images, and generously allowing us to use them.

Services from library partners

Become a festival maker
The National Festival of Making takes over Blackburn town centre on 11th & 12th June with an explosion of maker and digital technologies, have-a-go workshops, food stalls, international performances, art exhibits, music, food and markets.

In 2019 over 100 volunteers came and supported the event to give visitors to Blackburn and the festival the best possible experience.

This year they need your help as they return with the 4th edition of the National Festival of Making, bringing together Blackburn's communities for a brilliant celebration of creativity.

Learn more on how you can become a FESTIVAL MAKER and join the team this summer by visiting


'Volunteer Now' coordinator role, applications wanted!

Following the announcement that The Bureau's application to the Volunteering Futures Fund was successful, they are beginning the development of a new two-year programme to engage hundreds of local young people in culture, sport and heritage volunteering.

Working with partners including Community CVS, Blackburn Rovers Community Trust, Blackburn Museum, Blackburn with Darwen Library & Information Services, Lancashire Wildlife Trust, Blackburn Festival of Light, Blackburn Youth Zone with 10 other partners they are delighted to announce that the coordinator role application process is now live.

Employed by Community CVS and based at The Bureau, the successful applicant will work across Blackburn with Darwen with partners across the arts/heritage, leisure/sports, environment/wildlife sectors.  The fund has been awarded and distributed by the Arts Council England.

Volunteering Now Partnership Co-ordinator
  • Application form
  • Role description
  • Salary: £25,491 (plus 7% employer pension contribution)
  • Hours: Full Time - 37 hours per week (job share is possible)
  • Deadline: 12 noon on Monday 6th June
  • Location: Based at The Bureau Centre for the Arts CIC - Blackburn, working across Blackburn with Darwen with partners across the arts/culture, leisure/sports/physical active, environment/wildlife sectors.
The Volunteering Now Partnership Co-ordinator is a key role, which will support The Bureau Centre for the Arts, Community CVS and partners to set up and develop a new, exciting partnership to develop and test an ambitious, two-year, borough-wide volunteer programme for young people aged 16-30 providing quality assured mentoring and training with core modules and specialised pathways in arts, culture, museums, events, sports, environment and wildlife.  The new place-based integrated partnership will use a portfolio approach, sharing a digital volunteering platform with digital badging or passporting with each volunteer able to track their journey through the disciplines, joining up experiences, opportunities and knowledge across sectors.  Our collaborative approach will develop a sustainable place model based on partnership and cross sector collaboration, the research and learnings from which will develop a framework that can be replicated in any town.

Deadline for applications is 12 noon on Monday 6th June.  Applicants must complete an Application Form that addresses the points on the Job Description and Person Specification.  CVs will not be accepted on their own, but can be included alongside a completed application to  If you want an informal discussion about the role, please e-mail
Please note: Any opinions expressed in this newsletter are the contributor’s own and are not necessarily endorsed by Blackburn with Darwen Library and Information Services.

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