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Author: Fiona

Ring and Read Made Simple

Ring and Read Made Simple

Batley Library's Ring and Read Times

Batley Library is now open for Ring and Read! It’s super easy to do, just follow these instructions:

  1. Stay at home, do not travel to the library! Phone 01484 414868 and speak to a Customer Service Officer who will ask you for your name, library card and how many books you would like up to a maximum of six.
  2. Tell the CSO exactly what kind of books you would like to read. Crime? Horror? Romance? If you like, try and give the names of a couple of your favourite authors. Anything you can give to help out the staff filling in your order will be greatly appreciated and will make their job easier. Although you cannot request specific books.
  3. Make an appointment. At Batley these will be between 12:30 and 15:30 on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Appointments can be booked 48 hours in advance.
  4. Sit back and wait! The staff at Batley Library will select books based on your given criteria. They will use your user history to tailor their selections and will try their absolute best not to give you something you have already read.
  5. Turn up at the side entrance on New Way. The front entrance is not currently in use, so if you go there you will be waiting for a long time! At the side entrance a member of staff will ask you to confirm your identity and will place your bag of books on a table which you can then pick up. Please note; you will not be allowed inside the building.
  6. Take your bag of books home, put your feet up and enjoy!

Batley Library will also have a green wheelie bin outside the side entrance during the appointment times for you to return your books to us. You do not need an appointment to return books, just show up and drop them in the bin! These will then be quarantined for 72 hours before they are put back on the shelves ready to be picked.

I’d Rather Bee Colouring

I’d Rather Bee Colouring

Rather Bee Reading Colouring Sheet
I’d Rather Bee Reading

To help ease the lockdown boredom and to help you relax, here’s a colouring sheet based on the spring book display inside the library that you may have spotted before we closed! You can either print it off and get out your colouring pencils, or simply use the paint software that came with your computer.

We’d love to see your finished results, so send them to our Facebook, tweet us on Twitter, or email us at and we might post them so everyone can admire your handiwork!

Download “I’d Rather Bee Reading Colouring Sheet” BeeReadingColouring-scaled.jpg – Downloaded 74 times – 305 KB

Covid-19 Information

Covid-19 Information

Batley Library is currently closed due to the Covid-19 situation and the work of The Friends of Batley Library has been suspended for the time being.

We will be back! In the meantime, the following links may prove useful:

Kirklees Community Response – Use the website or phone them on 01484 226919 if you or anyone you know is vulnerable and needs help.

Kirklees Libraries – the brand new official site for Kirklees Libraries!

Overdrive – The Kirklees eBook library online. Use it to read books on your computer using your library card and PIN. Or download the Libby app on your phone or tablet.

Social Media

Kirklees Libraries on Facebook

Friends of Batley Library on Facebook

Kirklees Libraries on Twitter

Friends of Batley Library on Twitter

Stay safe everyone, and we’ll see you all when we reopen!

Shakespeare in the Library

Shakespeare in the Library

Batley Library celebrated Shakespeare week last month with a reading of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

During a typical sleepy Sunday afternoon in Batley, sixteen readers came together to read one of Shakespeare’s most popular comedies.

The event was a joint venture between the Friends of Batley Library and the Batley Poets.

Mohammed Barber, one of the volunteers for the Friends of Batley Library who organised the event said, “most people’s relationship with Shakespeare starts and ends at school. I was lucky in that I had a great teacher who inspired a love for the bard. I know that not everyone has that.

“All the thy, thine, and thou can be intimidating. Couple that with theatres which can be expensive and a bit snobby, it can be a massive turn off for working class people. That’s why I wanted to have a stripped-down performance in the library. The play and a bunch of people who want to read the play, irrespective of experience; that’s it.”

A Midsummer Night’s Dream brings together love, magic, fairies, and an overzealous weaver whose head gets transformed into that of a donkey by a goblin, all set in Ancient Greece. The comedy remains hugely popular with audiences and is consistently performed on stage. The play has given rise to several famous phrases such as “Lord, what fools these mortals be!”, “The course of true love never did run smooth”, and “Though she be but little, she is fierce!”.

The afternoon was a great success, full of great readings with no shortage of laughs, or biscuits.

Mohammed Saloo from the Batley Poets was one of the readers, who had never read Shakespeare before. “In a way I’m surprised I’d never read Shakespeare before”, he said. “I suppose it’s because the opportunity hadn’t arisen, which is why I’m glad I took part in this session.

“When I found out I was reading Puck I had no idea who or what Puck was, or the relevance or importance of the character. I have to admit, I did follow the script with a radio play the day before, to be a little more familiar with the character. On the day itself I was nervous but once I’d read a few lines and heard the others, especially the laughter, I really enjoyed it. I loved having the last monologue, it just felt special.”

Plans are afoot for more readings of the bard’s plays in the coming months.

Harry Potter Day – Sunday 10th February 2019

Harry Potter Day – Sunday 10th February 2019

Magic was afoot at the library on the 10th February in a belated Harry Potter Book Night celebration. Muggles were arriving at the library only to suddenly remember they’d left the stove on, so only witches and wizards took part in the magical classes happening inside.

On arrival the children were sorted into houses by the ancient sorting ceremony and then sent on their way to learn wizardry. Wand making, Herbology, Potions, Care of Magical Creatures and a special class on owls were all on the curriculum. Fun was had and a lot was learned before it was time for a glass of Butterbeer and a chocolate frog in the main library Great Hall.

With that, it was time to go home. The house elves cleared up all evidence of any magical goings, the anti-muggle protection spells were all removed and the library reopened the following day as if nothing had happened.

Care of Magical Creatures
The Care of Magical Creatures Classroom
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Book Sales

Book Sales

For the past few years we have been holding occasional book sales, selling off a mixture of donated books and ex-library stock to raise funds for The Friends of Batley Library. In 2019 we aim to make these sales a monthly event so we can help support the library even more!

Customers browsing our selection of books.
Customers browsing our selection of books.

Some things we have done with the money raised so far:

  • Christmas presents for the children attending our Christmas Party.
  • Our extremely popular slime workshops.
  • Real life owls for the Harry Potter event!
  • Prizes for ‘Design a Christmas Jumper’ competition.

Things get added to our sale all the time, so come along every month and see what’s new! Everything’s only 20p (except for the £1 Ordnance Survey maps and a selection of reference books for £1) and our next sale will be on the 15th and 16th February.

Christmas Party 2018

Christmas Party 2018

On Saturday 22nd December the library opened early for a few select guests for games, food, singing and fun! There was even a very special visitor who parked his reindeer outside and came in to chat with the children.

Malcolm Haigh – This Is Your Life!

Malcolm Haigh – This Is Your Life!

On Wednesday 1st August we celebrated the life of local historian, and Friends member, Malcolm Haigh in a special event at the library. 2018 sees the 40th anniversary of Malcolm’s book A History of Batley 1800 – 1974 and we decided that Yorkshire Day was the perfect day to celebrate. Unbeknownst to Malcolm!

With the help of the Batley Local History Group and Malcolm’s friends and family we organised a ‘This is Your Life’ event for him, where people came together to share their memories of Malcolm and what makes him so special. At the end he was presented with a painting, by local artist and Friends member Steve McGrath, a cake by Nix Catering and Cakes and, of course, a big red book!

Summer Reading Challenge 2018

Summer Reading Challenge 2018

The Summer Reading Challenge is here once again, and this year the theme is Mischief Makers! This year we’re headed to Beanotown to help Dennis the Menace and friends find a hidden treasure chest full of pranks.

Joining in with the fun is easy. Step one: be a child aged 4-11 (sorry grown ups!) step two: read six books over the summer holidays. For every two books you read, you will receive a reward pack with special prizes and clues to the location of the buried treasure. When you return your sixth and final book, you will be rewarded with a certificate and a shiny medal! Step three: wear your medal with pride!

The challenge starts today (14th July) and you have until the 15th September to complete it. So what are you waiting for? Get down to the library and read your first two books now!

Women’s Peace Blanket

Women’s Peace Blanket

At the moment, Batley Library is very proud to be hosting The Women’s Peace Blanket, a piece of art inspired by the life of Batley and Spen MP Jo Cox, who was killed in 2016. The blanket is the creation of artist Di Hewitt and was put together by women, mainly in the Stockton area. The aim was to bring women from different communities together to create something beautiful.

It’s display in Batley Library is the first time that the blanket has been on display outside of Stockton and we are honoured to have it.