Stoke City Central Library encourages people of all ages to carry on reading

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February 1 marked the start of Library Lovers Month, a month of celebration and praise for public, school and private libraries all over the country.

Whether it be taking a new book out, listening to an audiobook or getting your first library card, the free services that libraries offer us are often brushed over.

Stoke City Central Library are part of the community who are encouraging those of all ages to pick up a book.

Stoke City Library
Stoke City Central Library

Located in Hanley, Stoke City Central Library offers three floors on literary material free of charge. The first floor offers up a large collection of fiction and non- fiction fpr people of all ages.

The library itself finds itself the host of numerous school trips. Librarian, Amy Capewell said: “We encourage quite a lot of schools to come in and to gain access a lot of the services that we offer.

“We offer a free service to schools within Stoke on Trent so they can come and bring their classes into the library for lots of different activities.”.

‘Reading for Pleasure’ sessions are a big hit with schools, they include an introduction to the library, the librarians and the vast collection of books and e-books they have on offer for the children.

They aim to read at least one book out loud to the pupils per session but depending on time this can stretch to two or three.

Many people visit the library’s Sensory Room which contains a range of visual light experiences and a multitude of interactive pieces to touch and look at.

Capewell said: “I think that it’s a great thing when you see a whole class of children who are just absolutely absorbed in a story.

“We also offer nonfiction sessions, our books are categorised, but there’s all sorts of sessions that are available. So, we’ve got that whole range and they can be tailored to school groups so it’s great to get schools in.”

Stoke City Library
Sensory Room at Stoke City Central Library

Stoke City Central Library not only host sessions for youngsters but provides for older children too.

For example, groups such as ‘Singing Bears’, ‘Story Bears’ and ‘Bouncing Bears’ are provided for ages zero to five.

The Library also hosts craft sessions and coding clubs in which the participants are taught how to code animation and computer games, typically for those aged nine to 13.

Capewell said: “I’ll be honest, if I list all the services, we are gonna be here for a really long time because actually there is loads that goes on at the library that I don’t think people realise happens”.

Stoke City Library
Stoke City Central Library

Shared readers groups and audio books are on offer for adults who visit the library alongside internet access which is also on offer for children but with parental permission.

Evening events such as poetry evenings and author events are also available to the older audiences, Capewell explains: “These are available for anybody that chooses to come along but we do find that the majority of people taking part are perhaps an older generation coming in and listening to stories read out loud and then having a chat about them.”

 It’s important to not only encourage reading at a young age but also keep it up as they grow up.

Amy added: “Sometimes you’ll find that perhaps as a young adult or a teen you might perhaps move away from reading a little bit

“But then on the whole people are then coming back as a grown up, as an adult to come back to that love of reading.”

For more information about Stoke City Central Library and its services click here.

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