Coleshill Library celebrates its 65th birthday

ColeshillLibrary65

Coleshill library today

Coleshill Library celebrates its 65th birthday at the end of this month and invites members of the public to get involved in a special week long programme of events starting on 12th September.

Between the years of 1951-2016, the library has issued more than 2,880,093 – nearly 3 million issues in 65 years and has had 2,424,741 – nearly 2.5 million visits.

We are now encouraging members of the community to take part and join in the celebration events.

Tuesday 13th September – Between 10am and 12.00noon, there will be an opportunity for people to pop into the library for coffee and cake, including a slice of the Coleshill Giggle Cake. There will also be birthday themed Rhyme Time for parents and children aged 0-2 from 11-11.30am and Story Stomp for parents and children aged 2-4 from 2pm-2.30pm.

Thursday 15th September – Staff from Heritage and Culture will be in the library to collect and share memories and photographs from Coleshill over the years. Photos will then be uploaded to the website ‘Our Warwickshire’.

Also on Thursday from 7pm – 8.30pm – Mike Brassington will be sharing memories and songs of his childhood and teenage years growing up in Pype Hayes Erdington, further revealing schooling and events throughout his life which led to the development of his poetry songs, music and career in art and advertising.

Warwickshire County Council’s Portfolio Holder for Customers, Kam Kaur said: “Our customers effectively shape the services we provide and Coleshill library especially offers something for everyone – from children to centenarians. It is wonderful that we get to celebrate the library’s 65th birthday with the public and library staff are doing a great job in helping to include everyone. We look forward to seeing you all there.”

Cllr Matt Western, Chair of the Resources and Fire and Rescue Overview and Scrutiny Committee, added: “Our valued customers are always at the heart of what we do and Coleshill library has always received plenty of acknowledgement from local residents. We aim to create opportunities for citizens by promoting literacy skills and an appetite for reading and learning throughout the county.

It will be great to get the community involved in the range of fun activities throughout the week and we hope this celebration will encourage those who don’t already use the service to see what it has to offer.”

Warwickshire County Council’s Portfolio Holder for Customers, Kam Kaur added: “Our customers effectively shape the services we provide and Coleshill library especially offers something for everyone – from children to centenarians. It is wonderful that we get to celebrate the library’s 65th birthday with the public and library staff are doing a great job in helping to include everyone. We look forward to seeing you all there.”

History of Coleshill Library

This photograph was taken in1992, showing a town window display competition at the library.

This photograph was taken in1992, showing a town window display competition at the library.

A library has existed in Coleshill since 1698, founded by Rt Hon William Lord Digby, who gave £2000 to buy books and

shelving. Only 2 books could be borrowed at any one time and the customer had to leave a note promising to return the books.

In 1926, a newspaper article recorded the trustees of the library commenting on the dispersal of an interesting library of books, considered to have ‘no value’. Others viewed it as unwarranted vandalism.

In October 1951, Warwickshire County Council negotiated with the agents of Lt-Col F.T.B. Digby to use the lower floor of ‘Coleshill House’, High Street for use as a public library and to create a new Regional Library Service.

On Friday September 29th 1951, Coleshill Library, Coleshill House, was opened by Councillor G.R. Beckerleg, containing 4,500 books which were all adult stock. A children’s library was opened in the building a few weeks later.

By the 1980’s, the library was extending its role as an information centre and the search for a new site began that could incorporate computer and information services.

In 1991, the library celebrated its 40th Anniversary and the Library Club started meeting monthly.

In 2005 the library moved to a brand new purpose built premises at Parkfield Road.