Back to school

Summer holidays are all most over and the new school term is in sight!

Whether you’re going back to school, college or university we have great facilities available to help you prepare and to see you through the new term. With a range of courses and workshops available in September, from computer classes to guitar lessons. Some library branches even have home work clubs, please ask your local library for further information.

If you prefer a quite space to study, Hampshire Library Service offers study drop-ins and have computer and desk space available during opening hours.

Don’t forget some of our library branches have gift shops! If you’re looking for some new stationary for the term ahead come and have a look through our selection.

DOTS – our pilot iPad Lending Service

Thanks to nearly £250,000 awarded by Arts Council England, we have  launched Library DOTS  (Digital; Options, Training and Support), our tablet computer lending project to help tackle social isolation and improve digital literacy.

We have purchased 120 3G enabled tablets which are available for eligible Hampshire residents for a four week loan period, during which training will be provided.

The tablets are pre-loaded with relevant online library services, and useful applications linking to themes such as health and well being and information about local communities and services.

Five part-time co-ordinators are running the project and training and supporting residents in using the tablets.

The tablets are targeted at people and places experiencing disadvantage, which include social and digital isolation, lone parenting, people on low incomes, and people for whom English is not their first language.

It’s estimated around 800 library customers and their families will benefit from the project. Residents will need to join the library to take part, if they’re not already members. Other tablet borrowing criteria include:

  • Aged 18 years and over
  • Attend 2 Hampshire Libraries ‘Get to Know Your DOTS tablet’ training sessions
  • Agree to complete the DOTS project feedback form and return it along with the device at the end of the loan period.

For a referral to your local DOTS coordinator speak to staff inside your library.

Walks in Hampshire

Enjoy walking with the family, or even by yourself? Want a new adventure? Then look no further, here are some titles providing different walks across Hampshire, from the New Forest to villages and sea side towns.

50 walks in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, AA publishing

Walking is one of Britain’s favourite leisure activities, and this guide to Hampshire and the Isle of Wight features a variety of mapped walks to suit all abilities. Featured are all of the practical details you need, accompanied by fascinating background reading on the history and wildlife of the area, and clear mapping for ease of use. Every route has been colour coded according to difficulty, and annotated with local points of interest and places to stop for refreshments. Each has a summary of distance, time, gradient, level of difficulty, type of surface and access, landscape, dog friendliness, parking, and public toilets.

A walk around the New Forest: thirty five circular walks, Norman Henderson

Created by William the Conqueror in 1079, the New Forest is largest area of lowland heath and ancient woodland in Britain. Easily accessible from London, it can appear in places to be very remote, both in time and location. This is the perfect guide for those wishing to get to know the New Forest better: a series of undemanding short circular walks, which, when tackled individually or linked together in a week’s walking, form a complete circuit of the New Forest.

Hampshire, Robert Wood

Robert Wood introduces a collection of walks exploring different aspects of the historical past of the county of Hampshire.

Hampshire including the New Forest, Helen Livingston

The books in this series provide full A-Z gazetteers of information on some of the most beautiful areas in Britain and present ten walks and two car tours, plus information for cyclists. A small atlas is included to assist with travelling.;The guide includes a weekend itinerary from Friday night to Sunday afternoon, and describes the customs, traditions, history and legends of the area as well a providing a checklist of places to visit and shop with addresses and telephone numbers.

The best of Hampshire, Chris and Jackie Parry

With this full-colour, itinerary based guide visitors will be able to prepare for their holiday with an extensive briefing on all aspects of Hampshire, including history, climate, culture, food and drink.

Summer activities for all the family

Need some new ideas on what to do with the family during the rest of the summer holidays? Or perhaps you would prefer to save a little bit of money? Rather than going on a day trip to the zoo, try a day out in the country or even in your back garden! The titles below offer these alternative activities and more!

300 step-by-step cooks & gardening projects for kids, Nancy McDougall

Children love to get their hands dirty and this book is packed with 300 exciting and educational projects that will keep them entertained in both the kitchen and the garden.

101 things for kids to do outside, Dawn Isaac

Packed with games, projects, crafts, experiments and gardening inspiration, this book will have your children racing out to try something new. The huge selection of ideas covers all four seasons and ranges from quick 10-minute activities to a full day of fun.

Puppets, Anna-Maria D’Cruz

Part of a craft series for children, this book offers step-by-step projects for making and using puppets.

50 fantastic ideas for physical activity outdoors, Alistair Bryce-Clegg

The ’50 Fantastic’ series is a no nonsense, ideas bank – no frills, just 50 examples of great ideas already in practice! Ideal for the busy practitioner they offer a ‘dip in’ approach to accessing ideas that they may not have thought of.

The countryside book,  Tessa Wardley

Britain’s countryside offers a host of varied habitats for the walker, the amateur naturalist and the family in search of entertainment for children. This brand new collection of reflections on and activities to do in the countryside from an author passionate about reconnecting both children and adults with nature offers ideas for a range of activities all of which will enhance the reader’s enjoyment of and engagement with, the natural world.

100 family adventures, Tim, Kerry, Amy and Ella Meek

Adventure is out there – you just have to go and find it! Childhood obesity is increasing year on year. Happiness and well-being levels in children are on the decline too. Children spend less time outside and more time in front of screens: computers, phones, games, television. 100 Family Adventures provides a valuable resource bank of tried and tested outdoor activities to enjoy with children, swapping ‘screen time’ for ‘green time’.

Kids in the kitchen, Amanda Grant

Let your kids make their own food with 50 fun recipes that will not only encourage future healthy eating habits but also develop motor skills, cognitive development and self-confidence plus you won’t have to cook! Children’s reading books, toys and games are often targeted at specific age groups, and this new book by ‘one of the UK’s leading children’s food educators’, Amanda Grant teaches core cooking skills designed for children aged 3-5 years, 5-7 years and 7-11 years.

Crafts for kids, Martha Stewart

Martha Stewart’s Crafts for Kids is filled with 175 clever projects and activities. With easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions, helpful tips, templates, and colourful photos, there is everything your child will need to make an array of fantastic craft projects. The projects are fun, yet serve a practical purpose; kids can wear, decorate, and play with what they make. Filled with ideas for a range of ages, skill levels, and interests, this book lets children’s creativity run wild, while creating precious memories as parents and kids learn and create as a team.

Magic tricks to make and do, Ben Denne

Utilizing everyday materials as props, the magic tricks presented in this book include card tricks, disappearing coins and incredible shrinking wands. Step-by-step instructions and numerous illustrations show how to do each trick, and the book also contains a number of magic-related jokes.

Rock your room, Laura Torres

From funky ways to customize your clothes to cool suggestions on how to style up your school stuff, this fun, imaginative series will appeal to creative kids. Each title is packed with projects that use recycled and easy-to-find materials.

More summer fun at Hampshire Libraries

This summer at Hampshire Libraries we have lots of great activities and events taking place! With this years Summer Reading Challenge theme being animal agents, we have organised some really exiting events to run alongside this! Have a look below and make sure to book your place now!

Saturday 19th August

Saturday craft session at Andover Library

Clay Animal Agents Craft Model and decorate your own animal agent 10.30 – 11.30am Free tickets available from library information desk Session suitable for ages 4-11 (Parents/carers to stay)

Tuesday 22nd August

Animal agents at Hayling Island Library

Bug Wrightson and Oppo are a Level 3 Operational Search Dog Team. Together, they will explain how search and rescue dogs are used to find vulnerable missing people. You will also get the chance to meet Oppo, a hard working but incredibly friendly search dog who LOVES cuddles and strokes! For children aged 4+ Children must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

Cost: £1 per child (accompanying adult free)

Summer crafts at Fleet Library

Tuesdays 15 August, 22 August and 29 August 10.30am to 11.30am. Join us in making simple crafts to take home or if you are an Animal Agent taking part in the Summer Reading Challenge maybe something to help you crack the case! Suitable for ages 5 to 9, parents/carers to stay.

Wednesday 23rd August

Animal agents at Hythe Library

Bug Wrightson and Oppo are a Level 3 Operational Search Dog Team. Together, they will explain how search and rescue dogs are used to find vulnerable missing people. You will also get the chance to meet Oppo, a hard working but incredibly friendly search dog who LOVES cuddles and strokes! For children aged 4+ Children must be accompanied by a responsible adult Advance Booking Essential.

Cost: £1 per child (accompanying adult free)

Summer Reading Challenge craft activity at Emsworth Library

Come and have fun making paper craft activities. Every Wednesday from 26 July to 30 August. Drop in between 9.30am and 12noon. Parents and carers to stay. For more information please contact the library.

ZooLab presents Animal Detectives at Fareham Library


Join ZooLab for a fantastical tale of Mystery and Intrigue. Our giant land snail super sleuth has a fiendish mystery to solve. All members of the ZooLab animal team; from millipedes to spiders, snakes and frogs to rats and lizards, are on hand to help get to the bottom of the ultimate whodunit! With animal handling and audience participation, this is a show not to be missed! Tickets are per. handling child, one accompanying adult free. 11am to 12noon Spaces are limited so advance booking is highly recommended.


Summer Reading Challenge: Detective Disguises at Winchester Discovery Centre

How good a detective are you? Come along and make your own detective disguise in the children’s library. 10-12pm Ages 3 and above, adult supervision is required.

Thursday 24th August

Animal agents at Petersfield Library

Bug Wrightson and Oppo are a Level 3 Operational Search Dog Team. Together, they will explain how search and rescue dogs are used to find vulnerable missing people. You will also get the chance to meet Oppo, a hard working but incredibly friendly search dog who LOVES cuddles and strokes! For children aged 4+ Children must be accompanied by a responsible adult Advance Booking Essential as space is limited.

Cost: £1 per child (accompanying adult free)

Saturday 26th August

Saturday craft at Andover Library


Create and decorate a mask of your favourite animal 10.30 – 11.30am Free tickets available from library information desk. Session suitable for ages 4-11 (Parents/carers to stay).

Tuesday 29th August

Slithering snakes at Ringwood Library

Get up close with real snakes from Liberty’s Owl, Raptor and Reptile Centre. Also make your very own snake to take home!  Suitable for children aged 8 and over. 

Cost: £5 per child

Story & crafts at Romsey Library  

Cracking The Code Come and help solve the mystery, be our Storytime Super Sleuths and help crack the code! Storytime 11.00am & Crafts until 1pm Parents/carers to stay.

Wednesday 30th August

Animal agents at Fareham Library

Bug Wrightson and Oppo are a Level 3 Operational Search Dog Team. Together, they will explain how search and rescue dogs are used to find vulnerable missing people. You will also get the chance to meet Oppo, a hard working but incredibly friendly search dog who LOVES cuddles and strokes! For children aged 4+ Children must be accompanied by a responsible adult Advance Booking Essential.

Cost: £1 per child (accompanying adult free)

As well as all these themed events, we do have lots of other types of events and activities happening across the summer too, so make sure to have a look on our website!



What better time of year than the summer to go camping? In rain or shine camping with all the family is a great experience! We have a variety of books available at Hampshire Libraries to help make your camping experience that bit easier – From what to cook on the BBQ to different activities to do with your family.

The camping manual: the step-by-step guide to camping for all the family, Peter Frost

Increasing numbers of people are discovering that camping is an economical and attractive holiday option. At last, here is a book that will tell you all you need to know about planning the perfect family camping trip. Whether it is a weekend in North Wales or two weeks in the Costa Brava, this attractively presented manual will take the reader through choosing, buying and looking after tents and the many other accessories and equipment.

Camping with kids: hundreds of things to do, Simon McGrath

This colorful book is brimming with great campsite-based ideas to keep little ones interested, entertained and even a little challenged, from dawn until dusk. If any of the younger family members have ever said that camping is boring, this book will change their minds. With hundreds of activities based on traditional camping favorites but updated for modern families, kids will love the ideas on getting back to nature, learning survival skills, weather-watching, cooking and storytelling-and they’ll learn from them, too. Creative ideas like making a moth-catcher, building a dam and making world-class hot chocolate have been thoughtfully planned to ensure that every hour of the day is enjoyed to the max.

101 Vegetarian grill and BBQ recipes

A truly international collection containing 101 of the most delicious vegetarian and vegan recipes to cook over hot coals. The sun’s out, your friends are coming over, the fridge is full of crisp white wine chilling nicely and you’re ready to grill. But you have a vegetarian (or two) coming – what to cook? Don’t be fooled into thinking that the marriage of pure heat and raw meat is the only option. There are so many jaw-droppingly delicious and healthy ways to cook all kinds of meat-free food over the coals or on a gas grill.

How to eat outside: fabulous fresco food for BBQs, bonfires, camping and more, Genevieve Taylor

Nothing tastes better than a meal eaten outside. Genevieve Taylor’s brilliant new book is packed with recipes, inspiration and practical advice for pain-free delicious cooking, eating and having fun in the big outdoors.

50 knots you need to know : for sailing, climbing, camping and more, Allen Marty

If you’re unaware of the difference between a Cow Hitch and a Marlinspike Hoop or a Running Bowline and a Square Lashing, all will be revealed in “50 Knots You Need to Know.” Packed with step-by-step instructions, discover how to tie knots to get you through any situation, whether it’s nautical knots for sailing adventures or shanks and hitches for camping or climbing weekends.

National Allotments Week

Monday marks the start of National Allotments Week, running from 14th-20th August 2017. So why not use the week as the perfect excuse to give your patch or garden some extra or overdue attention? And even if you’re looking to start turning your fingers green for the first time, you can apply for an allotment at the Hampshire County Council website.

Whatever your situation or preference, it’s never been easier to get advice and information. Hampshire is a hive of allotment activity, and our libraries have the stock and services to match.

The Patch : the Big Allotment Challenge / Tessa Evelegh ; photography by Jonathan Buckley. Accompany a BBC2 series, ‘The Patch’ celebrates our burgeoning interest in knowing where our food comes from and is a practical guide to making your garden a haven of productivity. With essential know-how on everything from soil and compost to pruning and pests, the book is aimed at novice gardeners.

The Half-Hour Allotment: Timely Tips for the Most Productive Plot Ever / Lia Leendertz.                   Intended for gardeners who want to enjoy the benefits of growing their own food, but who have little time to spare, this handbook features advice and techniques that show you how to grow the right quantities of the fruit and vegetables you love.

Alternatively you can download all the assistance you need with our e-books at home, from the garden or from the allotment itself.

The Allotment Chef: Home-grown Recipes and Seasonal Stories by Paul Merrett Michelin-starred chef and star of BBC 2’s Economy Gastronomy Paul Merrett is using the plot…This is the story of how one man swaps his shopping trolley for a wheelbarrow and cooks up fine, homely food as a result.

Of course once the hard work is all done you’ll if course be rewarded with beautiful fresh produce, so select from our choice of cookery books. Growing your own fresh fruit and vegetable products is the perfect inspiration for trying #MeatFreeMonday, contributing towards the reduction of your meal’s carbon footprint, saving money and providing a healthy option to start each new week.

The great allotment cookbook : over 200 delicious recipes from plot to plate                           Celebrate your home-grown fruit and vegetables with this inspirational collection of seasonal recipes.

If being left to your own efforts is not working out, team up socialise and compare at our libraries’ gardening events , including the fortnightly ‘Sow and Grow’ at Stubbington Library and ‘Garden Design For Wellbeing’ at Waterlooville Library. Keep an eye on the Hampshire Libraries Events page for updates throughout the growing seasons!

For those new to the past-time, remember your local library service for tips to get started and in the meantime get an application for allotment space. Be inspired to turn your garden into a food factory ready for next year’s growing season!

Women’s Rugby World Cup 2017

The Women’s Rugby World Cup is the premier international competition in rugby union for women. The tournament is organised by the sport’s governing body, World Rugby. The championships are currently held every four years; the event was most recently held in France in August 2014. World Rugby has chosen to reset the tournament on a new four-year cycle to avoid conflict with the Olympics and Women’s World Cup Sevens; the next World Cup will thus be held in Dublin, Ireland and Belfast, Northern Ireland in 2017 and then every four years thereafter. The top 7 ranked teams plus 5 qualifiers compete to determine the greatest team in world women’s rugby.

Rugby Union for dummies / Nick Cain.

This year’s tournament is the eighth incarnation of the competition and will be taking place in Ireland. All matches are being played in Dublin or Belfast. For those travelling to the matches, grab top travel guides form your Hampshire branch.

Ireland / main contributors, Lisa Gerard-Sharp and Tim Perry

The summer holidays are the perfect time to promote sporting participation, skill and fitness. Look out for health, fitness and well being classes across the Hampshire libraries and Discovery Centre’s events programmes. For those keen to read up on the sport check out our online catalogue and e-books and audio books service.

Food for fitness : how to eat for maximum performance / Anita Bean.

Women’s team sports have risen in profile significantly in recent years and there are many insights into sportswomen’s endeavour’s in recent publications, such as Nicola Adams’ Olympic boxing heroics or Jessica Ennis-Hill’s London 2012 glory.

Unbelievable : from my childhood dreams to winning Olympic gold / Jessica Ennis

The tournament will hopefully inspire our young spectators and readers, and there is much inspiration to be found in our Children’s Information collection. Hopefully the nation’s heroics of the recent past will be match by the England team, who enter the competition as holders.

Diary of a rugby champ / Shamini Flint ; illustrated by Sally Heinrich.

Saving luggage space

Planning a holiday or trip this summer? Dreading packing? Then look no further, here are some great tips on how to save space in your luggage!

1.Knowing exactly what to pack

There are simple ways of doing this like writing a check list! Whether that is on paper, your mobile phone or a computer. Doing this saves a lot of time, not having to unpack and re-pack because you think you missed something!

2. Rolling clothes up when packing

Don’t fold your clothes up, roll them up! Not only does this save your clothes from getting all creased and crinkled, but also it can maximises your luggage space.

3. Download your books on your tablet or smart phone

Trying to pack more than one book can be a bit of a nightmare! Follow the link and visit our e-book catalogue and download the books you wish to read on holiday to any tablet or smart phone. Make sure to download the app first – Libby! Save even more room and download travel guides onto your devices too!

4. Don’t pack your bulky clothes, wear them!

If you have bulky clothes, wear as much as you can on the flight! You can always un-layer yourself and put the clothes into the over head lockers. This will not only save you lots of room but will make your luggage a lot lighter.

5. Weigh your luggage

Paying for your luggage because it is over the weight limit can be bit frustrating. To avoid this make sure to grab your scales at home and weigh your luggage, that way you can see whether you have enough room or you need to unpack some more items!

If you want more advice on how to save luggage space then have a look at the titles below that are available to borrow from your local library, just in time for your holiday or trip!

How to pack: travel smart for any trip, Kelly Lasserre

How to Pack includes guidelines for narrowing down one’s wardrobe, how many pairs of shoes are really necessary and best practices for storing toiletries and makeup. Here, too, are instructions on selecting the right luggage, when to fold vs. roll clothing, and trip-specific packing lists. Hitha’s tips are for today’s modern traveller who doesn’t want to sacrifice style for space, but who still wants to fit a 2-week vacation wardrobe into a carry-on bag.

The backpackers’ survival guide: everything you need to know, Tasmin King

Tips and ideas for travelling the world So you’re off to explore the big, wide world: head filled with possibilities and hiking boots laced. But a big trip brings big questions, like how do I go about choosing and packing a bag and how should I handle money abroad? Luckily this handy guide is filled with essential tips, advice and hacks to make your adventures on the road truly unforgettable.


Enid Blyton

11th August marks Enid Blyton’s 120th birthday! To celebrate all the marvellous children’s stories she wrote we have put together a book list displaying the first book within different series she wrote. If you would like to continue to read one of these series then please have a look on our online catalogue.

The famous five: Five on a treasure island

Meet Julian, Dick, Anne, George and Timothy. Together they are THE FAMOUS FIVE – Enid Blyton’s most popular adventure series. ‘Julian, Dick and Anne are spending the holidays with their tomboy cousin George and her dog, Timothy. One day, George takes them to explore nearby Kirrin Island, with its rocky little coast and old ruined castle on the top. Over on the island, they make a thrilling discovery, which leads them deep into the dungeons of Kirrin Castle on a dangerous adventure. Who – and what – will they find there?

The secret seven

The Secret Seven are siblings Peter and Janet, and Jack, Barbara, Pam, Colin and George. Together they are The Secret Seven – ready to solve any mystery, any time – in Enid Blyton’s classic series of 15 mystery novels. It’s their first adventure and the Secret Seven super-sleuths are already on the trail of a mystery!

First term at Malory towers

The first book in the series about Darrell Rivers and her friends, and their adventures during the first term at a girls’ boarding school.

The enchanted wood

The Enchanted Wood is the first magical story in the Faraway Tree series by the world’s best-loved children’s author, Enid Blyton. When Joe, Beth and Frannie move to a new home, an Enchanted Wood is on their doorstep. And when they discover the Faraway Tree, that is the beginning of many magical adventures! Join them and their friends Moonface, Saucepan Man and Silky the fairy as they discover which new land is at the top of the Faraway Tree. Will it be the Land of Spells, the Land of Treats, or the Land of Do-As-You-Please?

The twins at St. Clare’s

The twins Pat and Isabel O’Sullivan are dreading going to St. Clare’s boarding school for girls. Determined not to enjoy themselves, they cause lots of trouble and many arguments. But they soon realise that this behaviour isn’t helping them.

The naughtiest girl in the school

Follow Elizabeth Allen in book one as she arrives for her first year at boarding school. Elizabeth is spoilt and selfish and has made up her mind to be the naughtiest pupil there’s ever been! But soon she finds out that being bad isn’t as simple as it seems … Between 1940 and 1952, Enid Blyton wrote four novels about Naughtiest Girl, Elizabeth Allen. This edition contains the original text.

The mystery of the burnt cottage

A fantastic children’s crime story from the world’s best-loved children’s author, Enid Blyton. Who could have set fire to Mr Hick’s Cottage? There are plenty of suspects: the cook, Mrs Minns, young Mr Peeks and even a tramp. But it’s the clues – a grey suspicious footprint and some grey cloth – that point the kids in the right direction. The Mystery series follows the adventures of ‘The Five Find Outers’ – Pip, Bets, Larry, Daisy and Fatty, as they solve the most unusual crime cases with the help of their dog Buster.