In 2015 Library Stories started a citywide conversation, to discover how libraries are used and valued in Sheffield today

I never thought I'd leave. I'll always miss it...

You don’t have to be wealthy to have this...

Summer visits with my Nan and Grandad...

Free spaces for free people...

We run a book club through work. We’ve been doing it for four years now. People dip in and out of it, there are a few mainstays. It’s really us...

It's difficult to put into words...

My 3 year old girl loves coming...

It was a magical place for me as a child...

There is always a happy ending...

It was a place where I could zone out and delve into the books which helped me escape everyday life.

...

We come during the school holidays. It's a quiet place for me to read and very calm. I like the books. My Asperger's makes me want to go to quiet s...

The serenity and company of books...

Reminiscing with former librarians Val and Lesley

My library was my access point to my future...

Without a library it would be as if I were dead...

It was during the 1950s that the teacher read to the class "The Magic Faraway Tree." You could hear a pin drop. After reading most of the "Noddy" b...

I even had Richard Hawley recognise me...

A free community space + rich resource which provides a high quality essential service. Due to government funding cuts, libraries in their current ...

My library means quite allot to me cause it means I can choose different types and styles of books and join in different activities. It is also saf...

It means a lot to me to still be able to use internet for free on a very modern + plush system. To be able to look at books for reference and for f...

An indispensable part of my life on a weekly basis. Home is the Western Isles, and as a prolific reader as a child, when we as a family moved to Lo...

Everytime my printer has broken down, my library offered me a computer and a printer. When I was learning English, my library has arranged meetings...

Reminiscence group at Crystal Peaks Library...

A place to meet new friends and introduce my little one to the world of books, especially through organised story time groups.

Name: Amy

Tracy: Does anybody have a Kindle?

Most: No.

Muriel: What's one of them? Things that you bring a book up on? And you pay for them? ...

It is good for my daughter to mix with children...

It's a life-line for the older generation. Where else can we borrow 8 books per month. One of our members, because of illness, sits up most of the ...

I have made new local friends who love reading...

A source of local history information...

A conversation between former library workers...

Opens my life to other worlds...

You couldn't go in unless your hands were clean...

People see them as a community...

We got to know each other really well...

It used to be a lot stricter. Even as staff when I started – you know your numbers on the back? I remember the manager would go round and measure...

It's not just about books anymore...

I think libraries will always change and adapt...

A conversation with Stannington reading group....

I wanted to do something just for me...

A conversation between library users...

Library Stories

What’s your library story? Perhaps the library's where you discovered your favourite book, made new friends at a club, or sent your first email.

In 2015, Library Stories started a citywide conversation, to discover how public libraries are used and valued in Sheffield today.

Over 200 library users got involved, sharing memories, illustrations and photos. Together, they create a striking record of love, appreciation and support for Sheffield’s public libraries. This website is just a sample of those stories.

This website is a celebration of our city’s libraries, past and present, and an invitation for you to share your library story.

Past:
Working with Sheffield Archives, Library Stories delved into the history of the public library system in Sheffield. It traced the decisions involved in setting up the libraries, and gained a sense of what it was like to use the libraries at the turn of the 20th century. Here, you’ll find a selection of these discoveries, alongside photos of library life over the decades.

Present:
Libraries haven’t had it easy in recent years and, over the course of this project, many were in varying states of adjustment to community, associate and co-delivered services. Whatever form they take it’s clear that, to many, local libraries are a lifeline, an invaluable free resource, a source of joy. Read a selection of thoughts on and memories of the city’s libraries, shared with Library Stories on comment cards, at book clubs and reminiscence events, and in one-on-one interviews.

Future:
Leave a comment, sharing your thoughts on Sheffield’s libraries.

Library Stories is a joint project by the University of Sheffield and Our Favourite Places, funded by Arts Enterprise.

Thanks to all staff at Sheffield Libraries and Archives for their support with Library Stories, especially Dan Marshall and Dot Morritt for helping spread the word about the project and host interviews. Archival photos courtesy of Picture Sheffield. 'Present' photos by Gemma Thorpe, from a Library Stories reminiscence event at Multi-Story Festival in May 2015.

@library_stories

For further information about the project, contact us.