Libraries Newsletter

March 2022
Service updates

We are delighted to announce that further opening hours have been added to the schedule at Mill Hill Library.  From the beginning of March, the library will open for an extra hour on Tuesday afternoons (until 4 pm) as well as opening on Friday mornings from 10 am to 12.30 pm.  The weekly drop-in craft and chat sessions will move to the new slot of Fridays from 10 am - 12 pm.  The full opening hours schedule for all libraries will then be:

Blackburn Central Library
Mon: 10 am - 7 pm
Tue - Fri: 10 am - 5 pm
Sat: 10 am - 2 pm

Darwen Library
Mon: 10 am - 7 pm
Wed & Thu: 1 - 5 pm
Fri: 10 am - 5 pm
Sat: 10 am - 2 pm

Cherry Tree Library
Mon: 2 - 4.30 pm
Wed: 10 am - 12.30 pm & 2 - 4.30 pm
Fri: 2 - 4.30 pm
Sat: 10 am - 12.30 pm

Mill Hill Library
Tue: 10 am - 12.30 pm & 1.30 - 4 pm
Wed - Fri: 10 am - 12.30 pm

Roman Road Library
Mon: 5 - 7 pm
Tue: 9 am - 12 pm
Wed: 12 - 2 pm
Thu & Fri: 9 am - 12 pm
A host of new eResources now available with your library card
  • Access to scanned copies of newspapers from the 1700s to the 1950s
  • Includes many Lancashire titles that we do not have on microfilm
  • Accessible from all library public PCs via desktop links
  • Users need to create their own free account to save images
  • No direct access from home, but images can be downloaded in the library for later retrieval
  • Choose from over 20,000 graphic novels, manga and comics
  • Content for all ages (some content may contain mature themes - adult supervision recommended for younger customers)
  • Accessible via browser and app for mobile devices
  • Library card authentication
  • Unlimited checkouts
  • Ad-free access to around 15 million songs and 40,000 music videos across all genres
  • Up to 3 downloads each week (resets every Monday at 4 am)
  • Up to 5 hours streaming each day
  • All downloaded content can be kept
  • Accessible via browser and app
  • Library card and PIN authentication required
  • Interactive storytelling for ages 3-8
  • Virtual pop-up books with sound and animation
  • 48 titles to choose from initially
  • Fiction & non-fiction titles
  • Access via app recommended
  • No need to wait for titles to be available
  • Library card and PIN authentication required
  • Read most national and regional daily and weekend newspapers
  • Access to international content, including from India and Pakistan
  • Translation to other languages availalble
  • Audio playback (English only)
  • Accessible via browser and app
  • Library card authentication required when using from home
  • Learn over 110 languages (English as first language)
  • Learning English (ESOL) supported for 33 languages including Arabic, Farsi, Hindi, Pashto and Urdu
  • Customise your learning path in your chosen language
  • Our subscription includes 'Kidspeak', for children up to KS1, 2 & 3 level
  • Accessible via browser and app
  • Library card and PIN authentication required
Lunchtime poetry event, 15th March

If you fancy doing something a little different during your lunch break on 15th March, why not pop along to our celebration of Lancashire in poetry with Dean Fraser, who will be performing at Blackburn Central Library from 12.30 - 1.30 pm.  Dean's work has been described by Lancashire Living Magazine as "thought provokingly deep, sometimes historical, other times contemporary and often simply laugh out loud funny."  Themes covered include all aspects of the Red Rose County, including its industrial heritage, nature in all her glory and the stories of real Lancashire people.  Entry is free of charge, and you're welcome to bring a sandwich to eat while you listen if you wish.  Dean will be meeting, greeting and signing copies of his books at the end.
Regular events schedule by library

Blackburn Library
Mon 2 - 4 pm, IT drop-in session
Tue 10.15 - 11.45 am, Tuesday Reading Group
Tue 12.30 - 1.30 pm, Lancashire Poems (15th March only, see above)
Wed 10 am - 12 pm, IT drop-in session
Wed 10.30 - 11 am, Read, Rhythm & Rhyme (age 0 - 5 years)
Wed 1.30 - 3 pm, IT course (booking required, see schedule below)
Wed 2 pm, Ray Smith memorial lecture (23rd March only, booking required, see below for details)

Darwen Library
Mon 10 am - 12 pm, Darwen Library Crafters
Mon 5.45 - 6.45 pm, Darwen Library Reading Group (14th March only)
Tue 1.30 - 3 pm, Darwen Library Larks choir (£5 entry charge)*
Wed 2 - 2.30 pm, Story & rhyme time (age 0 - 5 years)
Fri 10 am - 12 pm, One to one IT support (booking required)
Fri 10.30 - 11 am, Story & rhyme time (age 0 - 5 years)
Fri 2 - 3.30 pm, IT course (booking required, see schedule below)
Sat 11 - 11.30 am, Story time, colouring & puzzles

Cherry Tree Library
Mon 2 - 3 pm, Brew Time (drop-in)
Tue 1.30 - 2.30 pm, Seated Tai Chi (booking required via Age UK)
Wed 10.30 - 11 am, Story time (age 0 - 5 years)
Wed 11 am - 12 pm, Brew Time (drop-in)
Wed 2 - 3 pm, Reminiscence session (2nd March only)
Fri 2 - 4 pm, Knit & Natter

Mill Hill Library
Tue 2 - 3 pm, Brew Time (drop-in)
Thu 10 am - 12 pm, IT drop-in session
Thu 11 - 11.30 am, Story time (age 0 - 5 years)
Fri 10.30 am - 12 pm, Craft & chat

Roman Road Library
Mon 5 - 7 pm, Youth group
Wed 12 - 2 pm, Craft group

*NB. Darwen Library Larks meets in Darwen Library Theatre.

This month's IT courses schedule (booking required)
2nd & 4th Mar, GMail basics
9th & 11th Mar, Using the Internet
16th & 18th Mar, IT skills for jobs
2nd Ray Smith memorial lecture to take place this month

It gives Blackburn Library great pleasure to announce the second Ray Smith Local History Lecture:
‘The Diaries of James Hargreaves – Tobacco Factor and Blackburn Worthy’, which will be presented by Mr Eric Nolan.
Over the past few years Eric has been working with members of the Arts Society of Ribble and Craven in order to complete a transcription of the James Hargreaves diaries which cover the period 1894 - 1918. Eric is presently curating the diaries owned by Mrs Shelia Whatley, who is the great grand-daughter of James Hargreaves.  
Incidentally, Eric has an insider’s knowledge of the firm having worked for Messrs James Hargreaves & Sons Ltd of Blackburn for 18 years, prior to the company being taken over in 1984, and in fact was the last elected Director - he thinks the 16th after James Hargreaves himself!
Eric will also be setting up a display of chosen items of interest and details collected over many years, in order to highlight how the diaries reveal important aspects of Blackburn’s social history, along with information of regional and national importance, and not just in the Tobacco world.
Please join us to find out more about James Hargreaves and his diaries.
The Lecture will take place in the Hornby Lecture Theatre, Blackburn Central Library
2 pm, Wednesday 23rd March 2022
Admission by ticket only.
Free tickets will be available to collect two weeks prior to the event from Blackburn Library
Please contact: or ring 01254 661221
Mystery History

If you correctly spotted that the above image from last month's mystery was the Ramsgreave Laundry, Brownhill then give yourself a pat on the back!  The laundry was owned by the Haydock brothers, and the image dates from the 1920s or possibly even earlier.  Note the horse drawn delivery wagons, and the laundry drying on the lines outside.  Thanks again to Cathy Stewart for donating the image, which has recently been added to the image gallery on

A more recent image this month comes from the personal collection of a member of library staff.  Does anyone want to hazard a guess as to where the photo was taken, and perhaps have a go at identifying the buildings in the background?  As usual there are no prizes for guessing, it's just for fun!

News from partner organisations

Age UK Jail & Bail

Age UK Blackburn with Darwen wants your help with an exciting and fun fundraising initiative!
In partnership with Lancashire Police they are hosting a Jail and Bail event on Wednesday 22nd March at Blackburn town centre police station.
They are looking for people to put themselves forward to be ‘jailed’ and held in the police station on the morning of the event – 9.30 am to 12 pm.  Jailees will be handcuffed and ‘arrested’ for an offence and held in the police station until they raise a minimum of £250 in bail monies (for Age UK) to secure their release.
Age UK will set up Just Giving pages for all jailees and update the page on the day with their jailed photos so they can share and raise sponsorship. It is a great networking opportunity and great fun for a worthy cause!
If you are interested in putting yourself forward to be ‘jailed’, have fun and raise money, please contact Elaine Jennings, Head of Business Development, 01254 266620 or
The Bureau, Blackburn

A whole host of events and activities take place on a regular basis at The Bureau.  From a nature and wellbeing walk on 17th March, to a weekly Thursday afternoon art group and lots more besides, checkout their website for more detailed information.

Introducing BeWell BWD

The Public Health team in Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council now has its own website designed to promote and showcase services available to Blackburn with Darwen residents through the Public Health Grant given to each local authority by central government.  It also contains links to other services designed to help people who are struggling, for example with gambling, drug addiction or energy bills.  GPs, other health professionals and health workers will use it to signpost patients and service users to services available to promote health across the two towns.
Coming soon...

Blackburn with Darwen libraries will be teaming up with Spot On, Lancashire in the coming weeks to provide two exciting and varied shows as part of their Spring 2022 season.  Friday 22nd April will see Susanna Hamnett perform her one woman theatre show 'Nearly Lear' at Blackburn Central Library, while Irish singer-songwriter Gus Glynn will be at Cherry Tree Library on Thursday 5th May performing 'Routes to Classics'.  Entry will be ticketed - further details of times, costs and availability coming very soon!
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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