Libraries Newsletter
January 2022

Happy New Year
After a difficult couple of years, we wish all our readers a happier, healthy and safe 2022.  

Festive holiday closures

Blackburn Library
Closes: Friday 24th December at 4 pm
Opens: Wednesday 29th December at 10 am
Closes: Friday 31st December at 4 pm
Opens:  Tuesday 4th January at 10 am

Darwen Library
Closes: Friday 24th December at 4 pm
Opens:  Wednesday 29th December at 1 pm
Closes: Friday 31st December at 4 pm
Opens: Wednesday 5th January at 1 pm

Cherry Tree Library
Closed: Wednesday 22nd December at 4.30 pm
Opens: Wednesday 5th January at 10 am

Mill Hill Library
Closed: Thursday 16th December at 12.30 pm
Opens: Tuesday 4th January at 10 am

Roman Road Library
Closed: Thursday 23rd December at 12 pm
Opens: Tuesday 4th January at 10 am
Our colleagues in the Care Network will also be closed from 4 pm on 24th December until 9 am on 4th January.  If you need emergency assistance in the meantime please check their website here: Out of hours help | Care Network (Blackburn with Darwen) Ltd.

Important Omicron Covid update

With so many depressing headlines in the daily news at the moment we want to assure customers that we are monitoring all national and local safety guidance carefully.  Our libraries remain open (apart from the above listed holiday closures) and people are welcome to visit.  We do ask that people:
  • wear a face mask (unless exempt)
  • sanitise their hands
  • please also be patient with other customers and staff, and respect their personal space
If, however, you would prefer not to linger in the library, our Call and Collect service is still available from Blackburn Library and Darwen Library too.  Simply phone or email the relevant library with your requests and we will let you know when they're ready and available for you to collect.

Blackburn Library, tel: 01254 661221, email
Darwen Library, tel: 01254 706021, email

New resource for 2022

Transparet Language Online provides a free, effective and engaging experience for language learners looking to build their vocabulary, practice their listening, speaking, reading and writing skills, and maintain what they learn.  With courses and supplemental resources in 110+ languages, Transparent Language Online can be accesed by library members anytime, anywhere, on almost any device!  Simply follow the link, click on 'Sign Up' and enter your library card number for access:

Reminiscence at Cherry Tree Library
The reminiscence group meets again on Wednesday 5th January at 2 pm.  The topic for this month's discussion is New Year and memories of the millennium celebrations.  It's hard to believe these are 22 years ago now.  Where were you, and what were you up to that night/day?  Did you visit the Millennium Dome?  Were you excited by the prospect of the new millennium, or terrified that the Millennium Bug would wreak havoc with our lives?  Whatever you can (or can't) remember, do come along and enjoy a friendly chat about times past.
'Bright Monday' 

Traditionally the third Monday of January is thought to be the most depressing day of the year, as Christmas recedes into distant memory, there are bills to pay and the prospect of January pay day is still a week or two away.  This year, Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council has rechristened 17th January 'Bright Monday', and Blackburn Central Library will be offering a free 'drop in' coffee morning between 10 am and 12 pm, for people who want a brew and a chat to beat the January blues.

Reading groups
Whether or not any further restrictions are introduced in the new year, there's a fair chance that we'll be spending more time indoors in January anyway - a month that isn't well known for brilliant weather to entice us all outside, so why not join or start a reading group?  The library service has a collection of reading group sets available to hire, so that group members can all read the same book at the same time and then discuss it afterwards. If people are still anxious about meeting in person, sessions can be held online and our partners at BorrowBox offer multiple loans for a temporary period on certain Spotlight eBook and eAudio titles each month to enable more people to read these during that period.

January's BorrowBox Spotlight titles for adults:
  • Diary of a Somebody by Brian Bilston (eAudio and eBook)
  • The First Mistake by Sandie Jones (eAudio and eBook)
  • Stories of Hope by Heather Morris (eAudio and eBook)
  • The Windsor Knot by S.J. Bennett (eAudio and eBook)
  • Again Again by E. Lockhart (eAudio and eBook)
  • The Happy Closet by Annmarie O'Connor (eAudio and eBook)
Spotlight titles for children:
  • My Little Pony: Twilight Sparkle and the Crystal Heart Spell (eAudio only)
  • The 52-Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton (eAudio and eBook)
If you'd rather have a more informal arrangement, you could go for a Reading Friends group instead, where you don't all have to read the same thing and can just use the sessions to discuss anything from favourite recipes to crossword clues, or newspaper articles to...well anything you like really.  The point is to get people talking and having fun.

For more information about joining or setting up a reading group or Reading Friends, please contact or phone 01254 587941.

Borrow a Tablet scheme
Do you want to get online, but aren't sure how to?  Borrow a tablet and have weekly support sessions at Darwen Library in January and February.  Sessions run on Fridays, 11 am - 12 pm on 14th Jan, 21st Jan, 28th Jan and 4th Feb.  Library membership is required, but this is free of charge.  To book, please contact Louise Barnett 01254 587934 or Darwen Library 01254 706021.

IT courses for the New Year

Regular library activities in January
Key: (A) Adults, (C) Children & families, (EY) Early Years

(A) 10 am - 12 pm, Darwen Library Crafters
(A) 2 - 3 pm, Brew Time at Cherry Tree Library
(C) 5 - 7 pm, Youth group at Roman Road Library

(A) 10.15 - 11.45 am, Tuesday Reading Group at Blackburn Library
(A) 2 pm, Brew Time at Mill Hill Library

(A) 10 am - 12 pm, IT drop in at Blackburn Library
(EY) 10.30 - 11 am, Read, Rhythm & Rhyme at Blackburn Library (term time only)
(EY) 10.30 - 11 am, Story time at Cherry Tree Library
(A) 10.30 am - 12 pm, Craft and Chat at Mill Hill Library
(A) 11 am - 12 pm, Brew Time at Cherry Tree Library
(A) 12 - 2 pm, Craft group at Roman Road Library
(EY) 2 - 2.30 pm, Story & rhyme time at Darwen Library (term time only, booking required)

(EY) 11 - 11.30 am, Story time at Mill Hill Library

(EY) 10.30 - 11 am, Story & rhyme time at Darwen Library (term time only, booking required)
(A) 11 am - 12 pm, Tablet training at Darwen Library (starts 14th Jan)
(A) 2 - 4 pm, Knit & Natter at Cherry Tree Library

Mystery History

An appropriately festive scene for this month's picture, taken shortly before a lot of building work was undertaken on this patch of derelict looking land.  In fact, the road layout seems to have been substantially altered since this view was taken making this an impossible view to recreate nowadays in more ways than one.  Where is it though?  As usual, there are no prizes for guessing - it's just for fun.

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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