Big names mark reopening of library

Poet Roger McGough and Derbyshire writer Berlie Doherty are just two of the big names who will be helping to celebrate the re-opening of Chesterfield Library.

A number of events – kicking off on Wednesday February 29 and running until the end of March – have been arranged to mark the occasion promising something for everyone.

Major work to the Derbyshire County Council library has created a more welcoming and spacious entrance area complete with new book display stands and seating.

Four self-service terminals and a new counter are also part of the refurbishment which closed the New Beetwell Street library for three weeks.

Since it reopened visits are up, with more than 4,300 visitors on the first day on January 30 – almost double the usual number for a Monday. Staff have issued 25,000 items in the first three weeks – up 10 per cent on last year.

Leader of Derbyshire County Council, Cllr Andrew Lewer, said: “We are delighted with the improvements which we hope will make the library more popular than ever.

“To mark the completion of this work we have organised a series of events, including behind-the-scenes tours and films of Chesterfield in days gone by.”

The full list of events is as follows:

* Wednesday February 29: An evening with Berlie Doherty, Derbyshire’s Reading Champion. This is the final event for the work Berlie has done as Reading Champion. Some tickets are available. Starts 7.30pm. Phone 01629 536524.

* Thursday March 29: Meet the author – Celia Rees. Celia Rees is one of Britain’s foremost writers for teenagers. This is a free event with limited tickets available from the library helpdesk. Starts at 1.30pm.

* Friday March 29: Health and Wellbeing Day. This offers the chance to visit the brand new health and wellbeing zone. There will be information stalls, displays and activities.

* Tuesday March 6: Lady Arbella Stuart – the Queen that never was, a talk by local historian David Templeman. Tickets £3, concessions £2, available from the library helpdesk. Starts 7.30pm.

* Saturday March 6: Readings from Mammoth Book of Body Horror – a new book which includes stories by top horror writers including Stephen King and Clive Barker. Starts 2pm. Tickets for this free event are available from the library helpdesk.

* Week beginning Monday March 12: Behind the scenes tours including parts of the library not normally open to the public. Free – book your place at library helpdesk.

* Monday March 12: Roger McGough presents That Awkward Age – an evening of poems to amaze and delight! For adults and 14 and over. Tickets £10, concessions £8, available from the library helpdesk. Starts 7.30pm.

* Wednesday March 14: The Derbyshire Poets: Laureates Live in the Library. Local poets Ann Atkinson, Matt Black, Cathy Grindrod and River Wolton share their poems inspired by Derbyshire. Starts 7.30pm. Tickets £3, concessions £2, available from the library helpdesk.

* Thursday March 29: Unwind-Rewind – films of old Chesterfield. Films include Sheepbridge Works in its heyday, education in Chesterfield and an interview with actor Peter Sallis at the Pomegranate Theatre. Free event – just drop in. Starts 10am.

Saturday lunchtime concerts: Free events – just drop in. All start at 11.45am.

* March 3: Bart Pickford, guitar.

* March 17: Rachel Lenthall, piano.

* March 31: Andrew Marples, piano.

Chesterfield Library opening times are Monday-Friday: 9am-7pm and Saturday: 9am-4pm. Visit www.derbyshire.gov.uk/libraries for more information.