Sustainability at Hampshire Libraries

Supporting the community for a greener future.

Some of the world’s most influential people have been gathering in Glasgow for the United Nations 26th Climate Change Conference (COP26). We wanted to share with you what we’re doing to make our libraries more sustainable, and how we can help you join the conversation too.

Making libraries greener

As part of a decarbonisation scheme, we have installed energy efficient lighting throughout our buildings and replaced all windows with double glazing to reduce our energy usage. There are smart meters installed in every library so that we can be mindful of the energy we use, and the solar panels installed on the roofs of several of our libraries ensure that the energy we do use is as clean and green as possible. We even have a fleet of electric vans to make sure that our book deliveries are eco-friendly.

Creating a space to learn

We’re not just thinking about how we can be more sustainable; we want to help you do the same too. Sitting at the heart of the community, our libraries play an important role in providing access to information on climate change, sustainability, and other environmental issues. To help you learn about the topic we’ve curated a special Earth Heroes collection full of really interesting books for children and young adults, with a third collection for adults coming out soon!

Supporting community action

Hayling Island Library is home to the Hayling Island Community Centre Association’s Community Pantry scheme designed to tackle food deprivation in the area. The pantry offers a range of donated fresh and frozen food as well as dried goods and sold at a far lower cost than shops or supermarkets and all funds are put back into the scheme to keep it running.

With support from Hampshire Libraries, Plastic Free Ringwood and Ringwood Actions for Climate Change also recently opened a community fridge and freezer at Ringwood Library. The initiative accepts surplus food from local businesses to be redistributed throughout the community, helping to reduce food wastage in the area. The community fridge saved 1 ton of food from going to waste in the first three months that it was open!

Written by Isaac Fravashi

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.

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!

The 19th Wife by David Ebersoff


About the book

Jordan returns from California to Utah to visit his mother in jail. As a teenager he was expelled from his family and religious community, a secretive Mormon offshoot sect. Now his father has been found shot dead in front of his computer, and one of his many wives – Jordan’s mother – is accused of the crime.
Over a century earlier, Ann Eliza Young, the nineteenth wife of Brigham Young, Prophet and Leader of the Mormon Church, tells the sensational story of how her own parents were drawn into plural marriage, and how she herself battled for her freedom and escaped her powerful husband, to lead a crusade to end polygamy in the United States.
Bold, shocking and gripping, The 19th Wife expertly weaves together these two narratives: a pageturning literary mystery and an enthralling epic of love and faith.


Reviewed by Denmead Reading Circle

Much enjoyed by almost everyone. Very humorous, sharp wit, not too American


Read this book

Request to borrow a reading book set


The Proof of Love by Catherine Hall

About the book

By the time the summer holidays begin, Spencer Little is keen to put the events of the past term at Cambridge behind him and a remote village in the Lake District seems to offer the perfect escape. But it’s not so easy to remain anonymous in a small community and, after striking up a friendship with ten year old Alice, Spencer also finds himself being drawn into other people’s lives. As the summer heatwave intensifies and a web of complicity tightens around him, Spencer realizes that he will eventually be forced to choose between loyalty and truth, between logic and passion.

Reviewed by The Accidental Reading Group:

This is the best book we’ve read for some time in that it resulted om a good discussion. It was atmospheric and the tension built up chapter by chapter.

Star rating: ***

Read the book

Request to borrow a reading group set

The Mammoth Cheese by Sheri Holman

About the book

When Manda Frank gives birth to an astonishing eleven babies, the world descends on her home town of Three Chimneys, Virginia. Beneath the intense media spotlight the town begins to give up its long-held secrets: from the unrequited love of August Vaughn, the town’s avid Thomas Jefferson impersonator, to the more dangerous and subversive passions of Mr March, the local history teacher. Meanwhile, cheesemaker Margaret Prickett decides to highlight the plight of the rural community by creating ‘The Mammoth Cheese’ – a 1,235-pound wheel of Cheshire which she plans to parade all the way to Washington – while failing to notice the plight of her own teenage daughter Polly, who is caught up in the dangerous romance of rebellion, and veering precariously towards tragedy…

Reviewed by October Books Reading Group:

Readers who got into this book found a very well written story about ‘ordinary people’ and their flaws. The author is completely non-judgemental, there are no ‘heroes and villains’. Also some interesting facts about US history and geography!

Star rating: ***

Read the book

Request to borrow a reading group set