Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October 2019 say: “Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a worldwide annual campaign taking place in October, involving thousands of  organisations, to highlight the importance of breast awareness, education and research. 

During Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Breast Cancer Now aim to get as many people as possible involved in raising awareness and funds to help support our life-saving research and life-changing support. 

As the UK’s largest breast cancer research charity, along with our supporters, they do this through campaigning, raising money, an array of events across the UK as well as, of course, wearing it pink with all of you!”

Cancer Research UK statistics:

-There are around 55,200 new breast cancer cases in the UK every year, that’s around 150 every day (2014-2016). 

-Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK, accounting for 15% of all new cancer cases (2016). 

-In females in the UK, breast cancer is the most common cancer, with around 54,500 new cases in 2016. 

-In males in the UK, breast cancer is not among the 20 most common cancers, with around 360 new cases in 2016.” 

Hampshire Libraries Booklist

1. One Step at a Time : Getting Through Chemotherapy with Breast Cancer / Dr Alison Bailey

Written by patients to help others learn from their experiences. “I was first drawn to working in oncology while I was a student nurse at St Thomas’ Hospital in London. There I met a woman who had been diagnosed with breast cancer and showed such strength and fortitude in the face of her diagnosis that it left a strong impression on me.”She said that, despite all the information that had been provided by the professionals and the internet, she would love to be able to dip in and out of a book that had useful advice for newly diagnosed patients, based on the experiences of other patients. The idea for this book was born.

2. Dear cancer, love Victoria : a mum’s diary of hope / Victoria Derbyshire.

Renowned as a much-loved and highly respected BBC journalist, Victoria Derbyshire has spent 20 years finding the human story behind the headlines. In 2015 she found herself at the heart of the news, with a devastating breast cancer diagnosis. With honesty and openness, she decided to live out her treatment and recovery in the spotlight in a series of video diaries that encouraged thousands to seek diagnosis and help. Victoria has kept a diary since she was nine years old and in ‘Dear Cancer, Love Victoria’ she shares her day to day experiences of life following her diagnosis and coming to terms with a future that wasn’t planned.

3. The complete guide to breast cancer : how to feel empowered and take control / Professor Trisha Greenhalgh and Dr Liz O’Riordan.

Professor Trisha Greenhalgh, an academic GP, and Dr Liz O’Riordan, a Consultant Breast Cancer Surgeon, are not only outstanding doctors, but they have also experienced breast cancer first-hand. This book brings together all the knowledge they have gathered as patients and as doctors to give you and your family a trusted, thorough and up-to-date source of information.

4. A funny thing happened on the way to chemo : a rather unusual memoir / Ileana von Hirsch.

Ileana von Hirsch started writing a journal as a way to entertain herself and a few friends while dealing with breast cancer. But she soon realised that what she was going through was not only lifting herself up, but was making her friends and fellow patients laugh too. This is the no-nonsense down-to-earth book
that every cancer patient and relative ought to read.

5. The C-word : just your average 28-year-old … friends, family, Facebook, cancer / Lisa Lynch.

The last thing Lisa Lynch expected to cross off her ‘things to do before you’re 30’ list was beating breast cancer, but that’s what happened. So with her life on hold, blogging about dealing with cancer became an outlet that helped her to cope and keep friends and family updated. This is her story.

6. Breast cancer / Saunders & Jassal.

This volume provides essential, easy to follow information on all aspects of the diagnosis and management of breast cancer. It provides essential background information on the disease, from the ways breast problems are investigated, through treatment options and new therapies, to follow-up processes after remission. Fully updated to cover new and emerging therapies in breast cancer, this second edition also features new chapters on treating special or unusual types of breast cancer; surviving and thriving post-treatment; and coping and support strategies for the partners, families, friends, and colleagues of the person diagnosed with breast cancer. Each chapter is enriched with resources such as websites, links to videos, and care plans so the reader can explore relevant topics in greater detail.

7. The Essential Guide to Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the UK. This book is for women and their families who are looking for a comprehensive but plain language guide to breast cancer and its treatments.

Black History Month 2019

October is Black History Month, an awareness month and a nationwide celebration of black history, arts and culture throughout Britain. The events, articles, study and remembrance throughout the country make October worth celebrating each year.

As well as applauding achievements and success over the decades, the month also provides a vital reflection on the challenges that remain. In this way the month plays a vital role in raising awareness of British social history and the continued importance of identity, social equality and integration

Black History Month is essential in promoting learning, providing information and contributing to community cohesion. For the past 30+ years it has shone, and continues to shine, a beacon of light on the facts about Black history, heritage, legacy and the on-going struggles for equality and justice.  More than that, it educates, informs and inspires many to be proud of who they are and to understand history, origins and the right to exist as equals.

This year, to celebrate Black History Month, we’ll be looking at some of the incredible black British authors who are, or have, contributed to the wonderful world of books and the literary culture.
There are so many talented black authors it’s hard to choose one, which is why in this blog we’ll be shining a light at 20 of these incredible authors – all of whom have books you can borrow from Hampshire Libraries.
To browse their books, click or tap the author’s name for a full list of the books available to borrow.

Never be limited by other people’s limited imaginations.

Dr. Mae Jemison, first African-American female astronaut

Ade Adepitan

© Every Parent & Child Charity

Ade Adepitan is a British television presenter, wheelchair basketball player and now children’s author, he was awarded an MBE for services to disability sport in 2005.
His first book was published in 2018.

John Agard

© British Council Literature

Afro-Guyanese playwright, poet and children’s writer, John Agard, was born in Guyana in 1949 – 17 years before Guyana became independent.


© The Hay Festival

Beloved children’s author Atinuke, spent her childhood in both England and Nigeria. She’s most known for the ‘Anna Hibiscus’ – and ‘The no. 1 car spotter’ -series.

Yaba Badoe

© International Film Festival

Yaba Badoe is a Ghanaian-British documentary filmmaker, journalist and author, who writes fictional books aimed at teens and young adults.
Her first novel, True Murder was published in 2009.

Floella Benjamin

© Carrie Kleiner

Floella Benjamin was awarded an OBE in 2001 for services to broadcasting, and in 2010 she was awarded the title ‘Baroness’.
She’s written over 20 books for both adults and children, her most recent book ‘Sea of Tears’ was published in 2012.

Humour breaks down boundaries, it topples our self-importance, it connects people, and because it engages and entertains, it ultimately enlightens.

John Agard, Half Caste and Other Poems

Malorie Blackman


Malorie Blackman is a children’s author who’s written over 50 books for childrens, teens and young adults. She was awarded an OBE in 2008, and held the position of Children’s Laureate from 2013 to 2015.

Valerie Bloom


Valerie Bloom is a children’s writer and poet, she received an MBE in 2008. She was born in Jamaica in 1956, she was six years old when Jamaica attained full independence from the United Kingdom.
Her most recent poetry collection, Jaws and claws and things with wings was published in 2013.

Joseph Coelho

© Reading Agency

Joseph Coelho is from Roehampton, just outside London. He’s an author, performance poet and playwright. Starting May this year, he’s on a Library Marathon, the aim of which is to join a library in every region of the UK.
His latest book A Year of Nature Poems, was published earlier this year and contains 12
poems – one for each month of the year.

Diana Evans

© The Guardian

Diana Evans is an author, journalist and critic. Her latest book Ordinary People was shortlisted for the Women’s Prize For Fiction award.
Her first novel was published in 2005, and she’s since written another three books for adults.

Bernardine Evaristo

© British Council Literature

Bernardine Evaristo holds an MBE, a FRSL, a FRSA and a FEA, she’s the author of eight novels. Her latest novel Girl, Woman, Other is currently shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and for the Gordon Burn Prize.

Sometimes the things you’re convinced you don’t want turn out to be the thing you need the most in this world.

Malorie Blackman, Boys Don’t Cry

Aminatta Forna

© LiBeraturpreis

Aminatta Forna is a Scottish-Sierra Leonean author of four novels, one memoir and one anthology.
She was awarded an OBE in 2017 for services to literature, and have been awarded a number of awards and honours.

Patrice Lawrence

© Twitter

Born in Brighton, Patrice Lawrence writes books for both adults and children. Her 2016 novel, Orangeboy, won the ‘Waterstones Children’s Book Prize for Older Children’.

Andrea Levy


Andrea Levy was born in London 1956, she’s most known for her two novels Small Island and The Long Song. Her books explore topics related to British Jamaicans and how they negotiate racial, cultural and national identities.
Andrea Levy sadly passed away 14 February 2019.

Dreda Say Mitchell

© Capital Crime Writing Festival

Dreda Say Mitchell is a crime author, broadcaster, journalist and freelance education consultant, born in London in 1965.
In 2005, she was the first black British author to win the The John Creasey Dagger.

Nadifa Mohamed

© Twitter

Nadifa Mohamed is a Somali-British novelist, currently living in London. Her debut novel, Black Mamba Boy, was both longlisted and shortlisted for a number of awards when it first came out.
In 2013, she featured on Granta magazine’s ‘Best of Young British Novelists’ list.

Laugh as much as you breathe and love as long as you live.

Andrea Levy, The Long Song

Ignatius Sancho

© Thomas Gainsborough, 1768, National Gallery of Canada

Charles Ignatius Sancho was a British composer, actor, and writer. He is the only black Briton known to have voted in the 18th century for members of parliament in Westminster.
A collection of his letters was published two years after his death in 1782.

Zadie Smith

© British Council Literature

Zadie Smith is an award winning author from
London, her debut novel White Teeth became a best-seller and won a number of awards. Four of her books have been shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction, one of which, On Beauty won in 2006.

Ben Bailey Smith

© The Times

Ben Bailey Smith is an English rapper, comedian, actor, screenwriter, radio presenter and voice-over artist, also known by his stage name Doc Brown. He’s written two picture books, both of which can be found in Hampshire Libraries.

Alex Wheatle

© Brixton Blog

Alex Wheatle is an author of books for young adults and adults. He received the London Arts Board New Writers Award in 1999 for his debut novel Brixton Rock.
In 2008 he was awarded an MBE for services to literature

Benjamin Zephaniah

© The Guardian

Born in 1958, Benjamin Zephaniah is a writer, dub poet and playwright. He’s most known for his poetry and teen fiction novels. In 2008 he was included in The Times list of Britain’s top 50 post-war writers.

Every moment happens twice: inside and outside, and they are two different histories.

Zadie Smith, White Teeth

Digital Readers – October book

Digital Readers is an online reading group for everyone who’s older than 16 and has both a Hampshire Library card and a Facebook account.

We’re happy to announce October’s book, the book we’ll read or listen to and discuss in our Online Reading group Digital Readers in the weeks to come!
And the book is…

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold!

In heaven, Susie Salmon can have whatever she wishes for – except what she most wants, which is to be back with the people she loved on earth. In the wake of her murder, Susie watches as her happy suburban family is torn apart by grief; as her friends grow up, fall in love, and do all the things she never had the chance to do herself. But as Susie will come to realize, even in death, life is not quite out of reach . . .

This book will be available to download through the BorrowBox app using your Hampshire Library Card from 1 October. There’s no waiting list; just search for The Lovely Bones, download and start reading!
Both the eBook and the eAudiobook version will be available – so if you prefer to listen to books you can still join in the discussions over on Facebook.

Hang on; how does an online reading group work?

Through the BorrowBox app, using your Hampshire Library Card, you will be able to download an eCopy of the selected title to your tablet or smart phone to read and enjoy. Ther will be hundreds of copies, of both the eBook and the eAudiobook version, available for you to download right away, so no need to reserve it or get it added to a waiting list; just download it right away and get reading!

Throughout the month you will be able to talk about the book with others in the group, and there will be regular discussions happening, so check back in to join in on the conversations as they pop up. As is the case with any reading group, there will be books you love, and books you might wish you had never picked up -and that’s okay!
In the group you will be able to discuss your opinions, feelings and thoughts on the month’s title in a friendly environment. To keep the group friendly, and ensure everyone feels confident expressing their thoughts, we ask that everyone keep the language clean and show respect to one another.

There won’t be a set day or time when you have to be available; this means you can join in the discussions whenever it suits you! There is also not a physical place to meet, as all discussions are taking place in the Facebook group, so you won’t have to leave the house to be part of the reading group!
On the last Friday of each month, the book for the following month will be announced, it will then become available for download on the 1st of each month.

If you don’t have a Hampshire Library card, you can apply for one online. It is completely free to sign up to the library, and as long as any physical items borrowed are returned on time, it will continue to be free.
After you sign up, your library card will be sent to your home and you can then join the reading group using your Facebook account.

If you would like to join the group, then head over to our Facebook page and join the ‘Digital readers’ group, you can find it here!

Libraries Week – Let’s get Digital!

7 – 12 October 2019

This year’s theme is about celebrating libraries in a digital world by getting creative, getting connected and learning new skills.

We want to show how libraries are engaging communities through technology, building digital skills, confidence, encouraging digital participation, inclusion, support, health, wellbeing & education.

What digital offers are available to library members?

  • Learning in Libraries courses: these are fantastic sessions run by tutors to teach you new skills. Some examples of digital courses that are run are: Get to know your iPad, Basic computer skills and Get to know Windows 10. If you, or someone you know may benefit from these courses, or courses on many other subjects, have a look at what your library offers through the Online Shop.
  • Your Hampshire library membership also gives you access to our computers. In some branches there are also scanning facilities and there is also printing and photocopying available.
  • BorrowBox is an amazing online service and an App that you can download on to your device. This gives you access to lots of free eBooks and eAudiobooks which you can download and read. All you need is your library card number and PIN. Find out more about BorrowBox.
  • Micro:bits are pocket-sized computers that are great to encourage kids to learn basic coding and programming that will help them in a society that is filled with technology. These can be borrowed from most Hampshire Libraries and are free! Check to see which libraries hold Micro:bits here.
  • With your library card and PIN you can renew, reserve and pay fees all from home! This makes for a more convenient way to use your library when you cannot always visit a branch. We also send out email reminders for items that are due back on your account, which ensures an easy way for you to keep track of your loans. If you need to get your account PIN number, just pop into your local branch with your library card.

Digital Readers

Digital Readers is an online reading group, completely free and open to all adults with a Hampshire Library card and a Facebook account.

Each month a new eBook will become available through the BorrowBox app. After reading the book, or while reading it, you will be able to discuss the book with other members of the group.

September’s book is still available to download through the BorrowBox app – as both an eBook and an eAudiobook! Have a look on our blog to find out which book the group has been reading: A new title will be announced each month on this digital group (Digital Readers Group) and through a library blog.

Even if you don’t use Facebook, you can still access the book each month through the BorrowBox app!

No Queues titles on BorrowBox

A recent edition to the BorrowBox app is a section with eBooks and eAudiobooks where there are no queues and you won’t have to reserve the books. You can download the book immediately to your device!

We also have other groups that you can join through the Hampshire Libraries Facebook page…

All About Books

This group is for anyone who wants to give and receive book recommendations, suggestions and reviews – as well as talk about books with other book lovers!

It’s also the perfect group to hear about author talks and book related events taking place in Hampshire Libraries.

This group is a friendly place to discuss books, share recommendations and get ideas for what to read next. We kindly ask that you respect the other members, and keep all discussions civil. Find the group here.

Library Families

Don’t miss out on activities and events for children and their families! With regular updates about craft sessions, construction clubs, rhymetime, storytime and other, one off, events and activities – this group will ensure you don’t miss out on fun activities aimed at families! Find the group here.

Events, Activities and Learning in Libraries

Find out about the latest events, activities and learning opportunities in Hampshire Libraries! Find the group here.

When a Book Might Help

When a Book Might Help is a collection of titles aimed at young children to help explain and help them with difficult topics such as death, bullying, adoption, going to the doctor and a range of other difficult themes. Find the group here.

Building a library for the future competition

The competition, by CILIP, runs from 23 September – 7 October, which is the start of Libraries Week.

Get creative and build your Library out of Lego™ bricks at one of our Construction Clubs. To find out more take a look at the Libraries Week website.

Makery Sessions

Keep an eye out in your local libraries for Makery sessions. These are sessions that involve robotics & animation, amongst other things!

Events in Libraries

Have a look at other events and activities taking place in libraries, during this week, by following the link here.

Events during Libraries Week

7 – 13 October 2019

Events at Winchester Discovery Centre

Vesper Sky concert of poetry and songs – Stewart & Carol Henderson and Yvonne Lyon Thursday 10 October, 7.30pm. Tickets: £10 in advance/ £12 on the night.

Vesper Sky is a stunning and unique collection of songs and poems, written and performed by poet, broadcaster and songwriter Stewart Henderson, renowned Scottish singer songwriter Yvonne Lyon and storyteller and broadcaster Carol Henderson. The songs and poems cover a wide-range of contemporary topics and tempos and the event is an engrossing and plaintive ‘journal of our times’. An inspirational evening not to be missed.

Book your tickets here.

Winchester Poetry Day: Close Encounters with Poets and Other Animals. Saturday 12th October, all day

Join us for a stimulating day of poetry readings, discussions, prize givings and workshops at the Winchester Discovery Centre. Tickets for some events are free, but booking is still recommended. We look forward to seeing you!

Events including:

Dramatising the Animal Encounter in Poetry. A poetry workshop with Elisabeth Sennitt Clough10:30am – 12:30pm. Tickets: £24

Transform your everyday encounters with animals: bats, badgers, foxes, horses etc into poems with agency. Drawing on the toolkit of the dramatist, we’ll explore ways in which we can push our poems far beyond a flat recalling of events.

My Favourite Poem: A short talk by Jon Sayers, 12:40pm – 1:05pm. Free (but tickets should be booked)

Short talks about favourite poems have proved a popular and engaging feature of Winchester Poetry Festival. In this session, poet Jon Sayers will explore Sharon Olds’s powerful poem ‘After 37 Years My Mother Apologizes for My Childhood’ and discuss what it means to him.

Loose Muse Showcase1:15pm– 2:15pm. Tickets: £6 / Students £3

Organised and presented by poet Sue Wrinch, Loose Muse Winchester has been running for four years. In this event, several of the regular open mic poets will present their work.

Winchester Poetry Prize: Announcement and Reading of the Winning Poems. Judge Helen Mort announces 2019 winners2:30pm – 3:30pm Free (but tickets should be booked)

Now in its fourth year, Winchester Poetry Prize has gone from strength to strength, attracting thousands of entries. Come along and hear the winning poems. There’s also a prize for the best poem by a Hampshire-based poet.

Meet the Artistic Directors: Sasha Dugdale & Sarah Hesketh – 4:45pm – 5:15pm. Free (but tickets should be booked)

The festival’s artistic co-directors, Sasha Dugdale and Sarah Hesketh, discuss how their plans are shaping up for the 2020 festival and share poems from the confirmed poets for next year’s festival.

Early Evening Reading: With Helen Mort & Elisabeth Sennitt Clough. 5:30pm – 6:30pm Tickets: £12 / Students £6

Our Winchester Poetry Day Poets, Helen Mort and Elisabeth Sennitt Clough, will introduce us to some of their own latest work, including some where the ink is still wet.

Poetry Café: Open mic poetry reading6:45pm– 8:00pm. Tickets: £6 / Students £3

Join us for an open mic session to hear local poets. Places for poets are limited so if you’d like to read, please reserve a slot by emailing

Autumn Dance Party, Saturday 12th October 2019, 7.30pm, Tickets: £12

Bring some Sunshine into this Autumn with a Dance Party filled with all the Dancing Fun you could wish for! Join Silvia & DJ Max for Salsa, West Coast Swing, Party Group Dances, Jive, Cha Cha, Rumba, Tango, Bachata, Merengue, Kizomba, Club Classics and more! Whether you have been dancing for years or are a novice – we’ll get everyone dancing! Licensed Bar open all night! Music with DJ Max!

Book your tickets at Winchester Discovery Centre.

Events around Hampshire

Lovecraft After Dark at Gosport Discovery Centre

Victorian Theatre with Bite! 8 October 2019. 7:30pm to 10:30am. Tickets: £10.

Allow the cosmic horror of Howard Philip Lovecraft to envelop your senses and blast your imagination! At any moment, the terrors of the Ancient Ones may be unleashed upon the world. The Elder Gods scrutinise our every deed, awaiting their opportunity to reclaim what was once theirs. Madness will be a blessing to those mere mortals who witness the crawling chaos soon to be released upon mankind!

Book your tickets here.

Thomas Forrester (previously Thomas Plant) at Andover Library

Join antiques expert and TV personality for an entertaining talk. 9 October 2019. 10am to 11am. Tickets: £7.50.

An entertaining talk about antiques with British TV personality Thomas Forrester.  (Previously known as Thomas Plant) Do you have treasures hiding in your home, gathering dust that you knew nothing about? Ticket holders may bring an item they would like to learn more about.

Thomas has appeared on TV shows such as Bargain Hunt, Flog it! and Antiques Road Trip.  He is co-owner of Special Auction Services in Newbury and when he is not busy with clients, Thomas fundraises for the Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice.

Book your tickets here.

Strictly Sherlock at Totton Library

Victorian Theatre with Bite! 10 October 2019. 7pm to 10pm.

Join the king of the detectives as he brings to life startling cases in this theatre production by Don’t Go into the Cellar.

The greatest fictional sleuth of all time springs back to life in these stirring adaptations of the Conan Doyle Classics. A high-energy on-man show, featuring a plethora of dashing heroes, villainous rogues and vintage thrills!

There are moments when you could swear you were watching Jeremy Brett or Roger Llewellyn, but this impressive interpretation of Holmes is very much Jonathan Goodwin’s own – not really surprising as Mr Goodwin is also responsible for the witty, suspenseful scripts.”  Roger Johnson, BSI, Editor: The Sherlock Holmes Journal

Book your tickets here.

National Inclusion Week

23 – 29 September 2019

National Inclusion Week highlights the huge importance of inclusion in not only the workplace, but in society as well. Many employers use it as a time to get connected and engage with their colleagues and talk more about inclusion. You can use the week to organise events and activities in your own workplace or community.

How are libraries inclusive?

Libraries are a place for the community. For all people, from all walks of life to come together to learn, socialise and have access to resources. Libraries are a safe space where someone can spend a whole day without question and borrow books and so much more!

Libraries also hold stock that is inclusive to all. We have audiobooks in CD and playaway format, large print books, braille books and books designed for those with Dyslexia. There is so much to choose from!

Facts and figures

  • We are part of Hampshire County Council’s Culture, Communities and Business Services department.
  • Hampshire Libraries hold over 2 million items of stock and receive over 6 million visits a year. In addition over 15% of issues and renewals are carried out online.
  • Every library has both public computers and WiFi, providing free access to the internet.

Standards and values

  • We will engage with customers, putting them at the centre of relevant and high quality services.
  • Contribute to the health and wellbeing of our communities by providing a safe environment and inspiring people to read, learn and access information.
  • Provide equal access for everyone and embrace digital technologies to enhance our diverse range of services.

Hampshire Libraries booklist

Why are people different colours? : big issues for little people around identity and diversity / written by Dr Emma Waddington + Dr Christopher McCurry For children aged 4 – 8

This revolutionary series, written by two child psychologists, provides the perfect platform to explore a broad range of family issues and questions that children have as they grow up and try to make sense of the world around them. Each illustrated spread poses important, commonly-asked questions around diversity and cultural identity, which help children to discuss their feelings and understand others as they become aware of people of different ages, cultures and appearance. Includes explanations and advice for parents and carers throughout.

Pride : the story of the LGBTQ equality movement / Matthew Todd

In June 1969, police raided New York gay bar the Stonewall Inn. Pride charts the events of that night, the days and nights of rioting that followed, the ensuing organization of local members of the community – and the 50 years since in which activists and ordinary people have dedicated their lives to reversing the global position. Pride documents the milestones in the fight for equality, from the victories of early activists, to the gradual acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community in politics, sport and the media and the passing of legislation barring discrimination. Covering the key figures and notable moments, events and breakthroughs of the movement through the reproduction of rare images and documents, and featuring personal testimony essays from notable figures, Pride is a unique and comprehensive account of the ongoing challenges facing the LGBTQ community, and a celebration of the equal rights that have been won for many as a result of the sacrifices and passion of this mass movement. 

Let her fly : a father’s journey and the fight for equality / Ziauddin Yousafzai with Louise Carpenter.

In this intimate and extraordinary memoir, Ziauddin Yousafzai, the father of Malala, gives a moving account of fatherhood and his lifelong fight for equality – proving there are many faces of feminism. “Whenever anybody has asked me how Malala became who she is, I have often used the phrase. Ask me not what I did but what I did not do. I did not clip her wings'” For over twenty years, Ziauddin Yousafzai has been fighting for equality – first for Malala, his daughter – and then for all girls throughout the world living in patriarchal societies. Taught as a young boy in Pakistan to believe that he was inherently better than his sisters, Ziauddin rebelled against inequality at a young age. And when he had a daughter himself he vowed that Malala would have an education, something usually only given to boys, and he founded a school that Malala could attend. Then in 2012, Malala was shot for standing up to the Taliban by continuing to go to her father’s school, and Ziauddin almost lost the very person for whom his fight for equality began. Let Her Fly is Ziauddin’s journey from a stammering boy growing up in a tiny village high in the mountains of Pakistan, through to being an activist for equality and the father of the youngest ever recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, and now one of the most influential and inspiring young women on the planet.

Sam and Ruby’s Olympic adventure / Tony Bradman

Ruby and Sam are given an ultimatum by their teacher: either they present a project on the Olympic Games or they will not be allowed to go on their school trip. Creating a time machine, using Sam’s spare wheelchair, they travel from the beginning of the Olympics in Athens to the Beijing Olympics of 2008.

Presented in a Dyslexia friendly format.

5 banned books you can find in Hampshire Libraries.

At one time or another, there’s been books deemed inappropriate, blasphemous or even considered dangerous. Even our ancestors, before the printed word, those who would pass stories on through songs and retelling, even they must have had stories that were not allowed to be shared. Forbidden stories that were whispered to one another when no-one else was around.

Throughout history, there has been different reasons societies have decided to ban a book or series. Even here in the UK there has been times when books have been deemed inappropriate and banned for a period of time. Such as The Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall, which was banned 1928-1949, Ulysses by James Joyce which was banned 1922-1936, and Lord Horror by David Britton which was banned 1991-1992.

Today, there are no banned books in the UK, this isn’t the case in some other parts of the world though. We’ve put together a list of 5 books which are currently banned somewhere in the world today, 5 books that you can find on the shelves at Hampshire Libraries.

There has been more banned books then we can fit in this blog, but have a look at these 5 banned books – all of which you can find and borrow from Hampshire Libraries.

Beijing Coma by Ma Jian
Banned in: China, 2008

This 2009 Man Booker nominated book, first published in 2008, has since been banned by the Chinese government.

Fifty Shades trilogy by E L James
Banned in: Malaysia, 2015

Three years after the first book was published, the trilogy as a whole was banned in Malaysia, as was deemed a “threat to morality” and for its “sadistic” material.
It’s not just the book that’s banned, the ban includes the printing, publication and ownership of the book.
So if you’re planning to visit Malaysia on holiday, maybe leave these books at home.

Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
Banned in: some schools in the US and in all schools in the United Arab Emirate

The Harry Potter series has been banned in a number of schools across the US and in all school in the United Arab Emirate due to its magical themes, pagan themes and for religious reasons.

The Da Vinci code by Dan Brown
Banned in: Lebanon, 2004

The Da Vinci code was banned in Lebanon when it was first published in 2004, as it was deemed offensive to Christianity.

Animal Farm by George Orwell
Banned in: North Korea, date unknown and schools in United Arab Emirates, 2002

When Animal Farm was first published in 1943 it was quickly banned in both the Soviet Union and other communistic countries for portraying communism in a negative light. Though it’s no longer banned in Russia, or countries that were part of the Soviet Union, it’s still banned in North Korea for the same reason.
In 2002, this book was banned in schools across United Arab Emirates for going against Islamic values.

Tell us in the comments if any of the books on this list surprised you, or if there’s one you think should have been on the list!

National Coding Week

16 – 22 September 2019

“National Coding Week is a volunteer-led organisation founded in 2014. It aims to help build people’s confidence and skills by encouraging volunteers to run fun and engaging digital events.”

Code Club was founded in 2012 to assist children with learning coding skills with free after school clubs. In these clubs children learn to create games, animations, and web pages using Scratch, Python, or HTML/CSS.

Code Clubs in Libraries

Did you know most Hampshire libraries hold their own Code Clubs for your children? These are fun sessions for children to create their own interactive games and animations. It is also a fantastic opportunity to meet other children of a similar age and learn new skills. To find out where and when sessions are held near you, pop into your local library or send them a message through their Facebook page.

What Code Club books are available in Hampshires libraries?

If you want Books about Coding, there are plenty available on the library catalogue.

Coding in Scratch for Beginners – Rachel Ziter, An Unofficial Guide to Coding with Minecraft – Avaro Scrivano, Webpage Design – Clive Gifford


Have you heard of a Micro:bit? These are pocket size computers that you can borrow from your library for free! If you would like to give it a try, have a look where you can borrow a Micro:bit from.

Volunteering at Code Club

Would you like to volunteer to help at a Code Club at your local library? Our code clubs have proven very popular and we’re thrilled to be able to offer these sessions to children, something that wouldn’t be possible without our lovely volunteers. We’re always looking for more volunteers; volunteers who know one or more coding program, who like working with children and who are not only friendly, but patient too. If this sounds like you, why not volunteer with Code Club by heading over to this website?

We spoke to one of our Code Club volunteers and this is what they had to say:

  • What do you find rewarding about volunteering for code club?

I like sharing my enthusiasm for computing with the younger generation – basically its an excuse to be a kid again and have fun ! 

  • What made you want to volunteer in the first place?

Initially to encourage my own two daughters to get into coding but after starting as a volunteer and getting to know the children that attended I began to feel a real sense of guardianship and responsibility towards their own coding journeys . Their progress encourages you to share with them the knowledge that will help them reach the next level (without losing too many lives or turtles 🐢 !) The code club curiosity door is always open – try it and see what happens! 

  • Why should others volunteer?

A sense of community, the feel good factor ! It’s sociable and there is never a dull moment as the children get to know you and each other and can share jokes and take part in healthy competition !

  • What have you learnt since starting their volunteering?

How to run the coding club in a style that suits us as volunteers (plays towards our strengths) and how to use the tools and projects provided by the code club organisation. I have learnt also that there are some great kids in Totton who are funny and smart and I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to teach them a bit about coding 🙂 

Ringwood Library Code Club donation

Ringwood Library were recently given an extremely generous donation towards their Code Club. Here’s what they had to say: “We are absolutely delighted that the Rotary Club of Ringwood very kindly donated a significant sum of money to enable us to purchase our own Code Club computers. Members of the Rotary Club and our Mayor Tony Ring visited us to see the new computers in use by our keen, young coders. It gave us an opportunity to say a massive ‘Thank You’ to them for their incredible support”.

Sexual Health Week

16 – 22 September 2019

Brook believes that every young person should have equal access to quality relationships and sex education, sexual health services and wellbeing support.

Brook Young People, 2019,

Talking about sex and sexual health can be difficult, and it can be even tougher to get the teenagers to listen without the stomping out shouting “Uh, you’re so embarrassing!”
We have some informative and helpful books that you can leave with your teenager for them to read or browse after, or before, having ‘The Talk’ with them. The books can give teenagers the extra support and help they might need to feel confident in themselves and their body. As well as a better understanding of what’s happening to their bodies, to their hormones and know that they are not alone.
Have a look at the list below for just some of the great titles we have available to borrow, or if you would prefer to browse all titles, head down to the bottom of this blog.

1. The breast book : a puberty guide with a difference – it’s the when, why and how of breasts by Emma Pickett

When breasts first start to grow, no one talks about it. There aren’t any greetings cards that say, ‘Woo Hoo! Your breasts are developing!’ but you get a birthday card when you are ten and that’s just about planet Earth going around the Sun ten times. Why don’t we say, ‘Woo Hoo!’? Because we live in a society where we often get uncomfortable and look at the floor when it comes to talking about breasts. They seem to be important in lots of ways but then there are these confusing rules that say when we’re allowed to notice them and talk about them, and when we’re not. This book tells you all about breasts and helps you to feel confident about their arrival.

2. Understanding sexuality : what it means to be lesbian, gay or bisexual by Honor Head

This title looks at the issues around sexuality – what it means, being lesbian, gay or bisexual, coming out, homophobia and accepting yourself and being happy in your own skin. It includes talking and debating points and is perfect for someone starting to question their sexuality or for PSHE lessons.

3. What is gender? How does it define us? And other big questions by Juno Dawson

What’s the difference between sex and gender? What does it mean to be defined by your gender? Are there only two genders? This informative book helps kids to explore these questions and more, explaining that there are differences of opinion and that answers are not always straightforward.

4. The boys’ guide to growing up by Phil Wilkinson and illustrated by Sarah Horne

A friendly and reassuring guide for boys as they approach puberty, explaining the changes that will happen to their bodies as they grow up and how these changes might make them feel. Covering everything from physical changes like body hair and testicle growth to emotional ones like mood swings and self-esteem, the author anticipates any worries that boys may have relating to what is ‘normal’ and about feeling different. It gives them the information they will need to reassure them and boost their confidence, encouraging them to feel positive about the changes they will experience as they go through puberty.

5. Doing it! : let’s talk about sex by Hannah Witton

Sexting, virginity, consent, the big O…let’s face it, doing it can be tricksy. I don’t know anyone (including myself) who has sex all figured out. So I’ve written a book full of honest, hilarious (and sometimes awkward) anecdotes, confessions and revelations. And because none of us have all the answers, I’ve invited some friends and fellow YouTubers to talk about their sexuality, too. We talk about doing it safely. Doing it joyfully. Doing it when you’re ready. Not doing it. Basically, doing it the way you want, when you want.

6. Dr Christian’s guide to growing up online (hashtag: awkward) by Dr Christian Jessen

‘Dr Christian’s Guide to Growing Up Online (Hashtag: Awkward)’ takes a social-media style tour through such wide-ranging topics as health, puberty, anxiety, gender, sexuality, stress, grief and any difficult questions in between. In this brand-new book, readers aged 10 and up will come across every question they’ve ever imagined asking, and probably a few they haven’t. Perfect for starting a dialogue about a difficult subject or for getting a quick answer from a reliable source.

7. The girl guide by Marawa Ibrahim and illustrated by Sinem Erkas

Five times world-record breaking hula-hoop star Marawa Ibrahim was told that she was too chubby during her teenage years to succeed as a performer. Today she is one of the most solicited circus performers worldwide, working with artists from Pharrell Williams, to Beyonce and Kenzo. Contained within these pages are 50 lessons, anecdotes and stories about the changes Marawa experienced in her own body during puberty.

8. Puberty and growing up by Anna Claybourne

Puberty is often a confusing time with many changes both physical and emotional to deal with. This book deals with all aspects of puberty in a straightforward and sensitive way so young children and teenagers are armed with all the facts. It includes the changes that happen to boys and girls, periods, moods and stress and introduces sex and sexuality. The text is accompanied by fun, graphic illustrations suitable for any age.

9. Help your kids with growing up : a no-nonsense guide to puberty and adolescence by Robert Winston

Covering everything from the menstrual cycle to sexting and even cyber-bullying, this visual guide to puberty and adolescence is a must-read for all parents and tweens embarking on those scary teenage years. It covers contemporary issues such as internet safety, whilst also tackling key topics such as sexuality and body image.

10. The girls’ guide to growing up by Anita Naik and illustrated by Sarah Horne

A friendly and reassuring guide for girls as they approach puberty, explaining the changes that will happen to their bodies as they grow up and how these changes might make them feel. Covering everything from periods and breast development to body hair and personal hygiene, the author anticipates any worries that girls may have relating to what is ‘normal’ and about feeling different. It gives them the information they will need to reassure them and boost their confidence, encouraging them to feel positive about the changes they will experience as they go through puberty.

These are just some of the books available to borrow from Hampshire Libraries, visit our website to browse all titles available.

Suicide Prevention Day

10 September 2019

Samaritans say: “Every year organisations and communities around the world come together to raise awareness of how we can create a world where fewer people die by suicide. 

In 2017, in the UK and Ireland alone, over 6,000 people died of suicide. Every life lost to suicide is a tragedy. 

And we know that suicide is preventable, it’s not inevitable.” 

Suicide rates for men and women

In the UK, men are three times as likely to die by suicide than women. In the Republic of Ireland, the rate is four times higher among men than women.

Suicide rates by age and gender

In the UK, the highest suicide rate is among men aged 45-49. In the Republic of Ireland, the highest rate is among men aged 55-65.

UK: rising suicide rates in middle-aged men

Men aged 45-49 still have the highest rate of suicides. The suicide rate increased for this group in 2018.

Whatever you’re going through, a Samaritan will face it with you. They are there 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Call 116 123 for free.

Hampshire Libraries Booklist

Man Up, Man Down – Standing Up to Suicide by Paul McGregor

When Paul McGregor’s dad tried to take his own life, it changed Paul’s worldview forever. Of course he hadn’t seen it coming, and so all his old certainties dissolved and he struggled to cope. Paul’s dad eventually recovered in hospital and went home, and it seemed as though things could now finally start to improve. But then a few weeks later, tragedy struck. Paul’s dad made a second attempt on his life, walking in front of a lorry. He died instantly. In order to distract himself from his grief, Paul began to overwork himself and chase ‘success’. He found himself in a dark place, suffering from depression and fearing that he’d follow in his dad’s footsteps. How could he, as a man, show his vulnerability? ‘Man Up, Man Down’ is Paul’s tale of recovery. It also explores what it means to be a man in today’s society.

The Stranger on the Bridge: My Journey From Suicide Despair to Hope by Jonny Benjamin

In 2008, 20 year-old Jonny Benjamin stood on Waterloo Bridge, about to jump. A stranger saw his distress and stopped to talk with him – a decision that saved Jonny’s life. Fast forward to 2014 and Jonny, together with Rethink Mental Illness launch a campaign with a short video clip so that Jonny could finally thank that stranger who put him on the path to recovery. More than 319 million people around the world followed the search. ITV’s breakfast shows picked up the story until the stranger, whose name is Neil Laybourn, was found and – in an emotional and touching moment – the pair reunited and have remained firm friends ever since. ‘The Stranger on the Bridge’ is a memoir of the journey Jonny made both personally, and publicly to not only find the person who saved his life, but also to explore how he got to the bridge in the first place and how he continues to manage his diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder.

I Never Said I Loved You by Rhik Samadder

On an unlikely backpacking trip, Rhik and his mother find themselves speaking openly for the first time in years. Afterwards, the depression that has weighed down on Rhik begins to loosen its grip for a moment – so he seizes the opportunity: to own it, to understand it, and to find out where it came from. Through this begins a journey of investigation, healing and recovery. Along the way Rhik learns some shocking truths about his family, and realizes that, in turn, he will need to confront the secrets he has long buried. But through this, he triumphs over his fears and brings his depression into the light. I Never Said I Loved You is the story of how Rhik learned to let go, and then keep going. With unique humour and honesty, he has created a powerfully rich, funny and poignant exploration of the light and dark in all of us.

Reasons To Stay Alive by Matt Haig

Aged 24, Matt Haig’s world caved in. He could see no way to go on living. This is the true story of how he came through crisis, triumphed over an illness that almost destroyed him and learned to live again. A moving, funny and joyous exploration of how to live better, love better and feel more alive, this is more than a memoir: it is a book about making the most of your time on Earth.