Hereford Library Users' Group


The Hive, Worcester

A group of Hereford library users visited a most remarkable library recently. In nearby Worcester there is one of the finest state-of-the art libraries in the UK. It opened this July 2012 and has enjoyed a huge surge in library membership since the launch. It is the first of its kind in Europe, from an idea based on a report from the now defunct MLA and the NIACE on co-locating colleges and libraries.

The extraordinary building is a winner of two international awards for the building’s design and sustainability, highlighting the state-of -the-art environmental engineering, delivering a low cost system for all weathers

On four very different floors it contains a quarter of a million books, attractively displayed.

Michel Rosen opened a superb, imaginative children’s library – one of the best in the UK

Anticipating over a million visitors per year it is helping to make the city an attractive destination, with a significant contribution to the local economy

There is 10,000m2 of public space, over five floors, with clever solutions to noise abatement allowing relatively noisy activities to happen without disturbing those undertaking serious study  It has 800 study stations all over the building – good for the general user and student alike

On the ground floor it houses 12 miles of archive collections with online access for researchers and over 26,000 records of historic monuments and buildings, as well as the Worcester Hub that gives access to all the council’s services in a welcoming and comfortable environment

Look out for the landmark, distinctive design – an iconic building that has become a striking new feature of Worcester’s city centre.




Library Extension at Ross on Wye

Elinor Kelly (Chair of RLDC) tells us that library supporters have been beavering away in Ross, preparing for the tendering and application process that they must undertake to find funds for an extension to the Library,that they can provide domestic facilities for our Dennis Potter Room (kitchen and toilet).

She has very kindly supplied advance notice of a coffee morning/launch of the exhibition which will be held and of their Libraries Day events. HLUG members can be sure of a warm welcome to any of the events which are listed below:

* On Tuesday 31st January RLDG will host a coffee morning from 10.30-12.30 to launch the exhibition – Ross Library: Past, Present and Future. The exhibition will be displayed for two weeks until Saturday February 11th.

* On Saturday 4th February Ross Library has invited local authors for celebration of National Libraries Day – details to follow.

Elinor says that she hopes that some HLUG members will be able to come, browse through the exhibition and confirm your support for our work.


South Ayrshire Public Library launches it’s first eBook….a world first

South Ayrshire Council achieved a world’s first for a public library service with the launch of its very own e-book in November 2011. The e-book, ‘The Record of the Ayrshire Militia 1802-1883′, is now available for sale on Amazon, making South Ayrshire’s local history information accessible to a global audience for generations to come.

Launched by esteemed Scots historian and Director of the Paradox of Medieval Scotland (POMS) project – Professor Dauvit Broun from Glasgow University – the e-book was originally privately printed in 1884 and is based on hand-written records in a notebook kept in Ayr barracks.

The launch of South Ayrshire Council’s e-book means the content is available for purchase and download by anyone, anywhere and anytime and it can be read on laptops, smartphones and all e-readers such as the Kindle. It will also be available on loan – free of charge – to South Ayrshire libraries’ members thanks to the Council’s popular ebooks library service, which launched last year.

Professor Broun said: “In this latest exciting innovation she has taken this to the next level by making a priceless source for local history, of interest to anyone with a serious interest in nineteenth-century British history, available across the world to everyone with access to the internet. It is wonderful now to see local libraries, led by South Ayrshire, find a way to make their own treasures available everywhere.”

Rhona Arthur, Assistant Director of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in Scotland/Scottish Libraries Information Council, concluded: “South Ayrshire’s libraries service has embraced the advent of e-books, both as a lender and now as a publisher. Publishing local material until now has meant low print runs and high unit costs. This is a great way of publishing books – which may have a global audience as well as a local one – without the costly overheads.”

Records of the Ayrshire Militia from 1802 to 1883 is available from priced £6.99. South Ayrshire Council has also teamed up with a company called Lightning Source who can print copies of the book on demand. Print copies can be ordered from the Carnegie Library in Ayr.

Cataloguing grants to UK Archives ….could Herefordshire Archives benefit?

The National Cataloguing Grants Programme 2011 has awarded £420,000 to archives across the UK. The twelve programmes successful this year are listed below:

• Bowes Museum – ‘Collections for a wider world’: opening up access to the Bowes Museum archive (£27,402)

• Cambridgeshire Archives – ‘The Fen Office Revisited’: the Bedford Level Corporation Archive (£28,000)

• Carmarthenshire Archives – Estate and State in the Cawdor Archive (£35,875)

• Devon Record Office – ‘The Right to Remain Silent?’ The Devon County Quarter Sessions Cataloguing Project (£32,000)

• Dudley Archives – the Earls of Dudley collection (£41,818)

• Hull History Centre – ‘North East Coast Town Revealed’: Hull in WW2 (£29,801)

• Lincolnshire Archives – ‘Rolling the World’ (£44,013)

• Rotherham Archives – ‘From Bunker Hill to Burma’: the York and Lancaster Regimental Archive (£39,171)

• Sheffield Archives – The Rise and Fall of the Socialist Republic of South Yorkshire (£34,167)

• West Lothian Archives – Livingston New Town – From Plan to Community, 1962-2012 (£42,858)

• Wiener Library – ‘Ordering Memory’: the personal document collections (£29,263)

• York City Archives – ‘A City Making History’: the governance of York 1155-1976 (£38,400)


Newspaper Archive includes Hereford Times!

The British Library has recently put more than three million pages of newspapers – national and local – on-line. These date back for over three hundred years and include news items such as the Charge of the Light Brigade, Queen Victoria’s coronation and the reporting from two world wars. There are lots of local news items included too and researchers and browsers alike may be amused to find that climate change is not new. Apparently, the Hereford Times reported in the Saturday edition of October 25th 1856 that an African witch doctor was predicting a whirlwind so severe that “all people, black or white, will be swept off the face of the earth” But only if they were wearing trousers.

To access this wonderful resource, go to: and proceed from there. There is a cost for access but even a years subscription is cheap at the price. Access for a couple of days is minimal.

Previously, this collection could only be accessed at Colindale in North London, which meant a long and draughty trip on the Edgeware branch of the Northern Line and then much huffing and puffing whilst staff retrieved the Newspapers or microfilm required. Now we can access them on a laptop sitting comfortably at home. This really is progress.

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