It’s national Storytelling Week from the 1st -8th February 2014, and National Libraries Day on the 8th February 2014. What better way to mark it than visiting your local library? Living in Portsmouth you’re not far from one, with a choice of 9 spread throughout the city. Here are a few things you might not know:
1. Free Swimming
A library card entitles children under 16 and adults over 60 to free swimming at the Mountbatten centre, Eastney Swimming Pool and Charter Community Sports Centre (a one of registration fee of £2 applies).
2. Local Discounts
You can also get 20% off an All Attraction ticket at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard and 20% off Hovertravel tickets (terms and conditions apply). You can also get a 20% discount at Mozzerella Joes Pizza Restaurant and a 20% discount at Adventure Golf at Clarence Pier. A 10% discount is available at Blossoms of Portsmouth florist and your card will also get you £2 off the entry fee to the Blue Reef Aquarium.
3. Free Online Resources
Did you know you can get free access to Encyclopedia Britannica Online, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford English Dictionary, Oxford Reference online, Life in the UK, e-books and e-magazines when you join the library? Download e-books, e-magazines or music direct to your home computer using your library card number and pin. If you’re not confident on downloading the software to your device, you can attend the Digital Downloads Drop In on Saturday 8th February 2014.
4. Borrow or Download up to 30 items at a time.
Can’t decide which books or DVDs to borrow? No need to choose, you can borrow or download up to 30 items at a time. Children can borrow up to 20.
5. No time to read a book? Get an audiobook and play it in the car.
There are a wide range of audio tapes and CDs available or you can down load up to 10 titles free of charge for three weeks at a time. You can listen to downloaded audiobooks straightaway or transfer them to an MP3 player or iPod. There are hundreds of titles to choose from, including books by Kate Mosse, Hiliary Mantel, popular children’s books and foreign language courses.
6. Family Fun
All Portsmouth Libraries run regular RhymeTime and Storytime groups throughout term time and very often organise other activities and events for children during Half Term, Easter, Summer Holidays and Christmas breaks. There’s a special Dad’s Rhymetime , Treasure Hunt, Manga Workshop, and more on the 8th February to celebrate National Libraries Day. Check our listings to see when your local library events are on.
7. No internet connection at home? Use the free WiFi.
You can get a free WiFi connection at the Central, Southsea, Alderman Lacey, North End and Carnegie libraries. Just bring your own laptop or device in and connect to the internet.
8. Free Computer Access
Computers are available in all libraries, providing free access to the internet, email, Microsoft office etc. You even have the option to book time on the computer to guarantee you can use one when you need to. The library service also runs free computer courses from time to time – check with your local library for the next one.
9. Portsmouth City Council in partnership with MacMillan
The library service is working with this wonderful Cancer charity to provide people affected by Cancer with up-to-date, and relevant information and support. Your local library can help you with finding information about cancer, referrals to other agencies and support groups, and a range of books, CDs and leaflets. Central library has the largest range of books and information. You can book an appointment with a trained advisor, or with Citizens Advice who can advise on a range of cancer related issues, such as financial issues or you can simply drop in to the Central Library Info Pod on Tuesdays between 11 am and 1 pm or Thursdays 10 am – 1 pm.
10. Portsmouth Bookfest
We have our very own literary festival every year with events hosted at our local libraries. Events are yet to be announced for 2014 but you can expect high profile authors to appear and a repeat of the very popular CSI Portsmouth with crime writers and forensic experts. Previous authors who have visited include Michael Morpurgo, Adele Parks, Chris Ryan, Jacqueline Wilson and many more. Keep checking Mumsnet Local for events.
Time to hunt for your library card. And if you don’t already have one, you can join online and pick the card up later. There really is something for everyone. You can also join one of Hampshire’s many local libraries including Waterlooville, Fareham, Portchester and more. You’ll find a list of the most local here.