suffolk libraries

Suffolk Libraries Oct/Nov 2015

Suffolk Libraries are hosting a range of frightening family events for half term and Halloween next week:

Bury St Edmunds Library are running spooky activities from Monday 26 October to Saturday 31st from 10am to 3pm. Come along and create a ghoultastic trick or treat bag to take away. The sessions run half hourly. You can drop-in or book in advance and the activity costs £2 per child.

Gainsborough Community Library are hosting a Halloween hoot with an ‘All about owls’ session with Suffolk Wildlife Trust on Tuesday 27 October from 2pm to 3.30pm. Discover amazing owl facts, dissect an owl pellet to work out what owls like to eat and make an owl mask to take home with you. For more information please contact Susannah O’Riordan on 01473 890089 or [email protected]

Great Cornard are hosting a Halloween Family Fun Day on Tuesday 27 October from 11am to 3pm. Activities include face painting, crafts, a family quiz and a ghostly story time.

Haverhill Library are holding a Halloween storytime session on Tuesday 27 October from 6pm to 6.30pm. Enjoy some spooky picture books and a treat. Children (and parents) are welcome to come along in Halloween fancy dress! Haverhill will also be hosting an owl talk and visit on the same day at 11am with a chance to meet two owls.

Ipswich County Library are hosting their now annual Creepy crawlies and crafts event with Mr Bean Entertainment on Wednesday 28 October. It’s a chance to meet chameleons, snakes, cockroaches and other assorted creepy crawlies with a chance to make some creepy crafts to take home. Tickets are £3 per child with free accompanying adult and there are sessions at 2pm and 3.30pm.

Kesgrave Library are holding ‘Room on the Broom’ Halloween themed crafts and stories this Sunday (25 October) from 10am to 12noon. There will be free craft activities, story time, a cake stall, lucky dip, raffle, photo booth and two of the characters from Julia Donaldson’s popular children’s book will be visiting the library.

Lakenheath Library are holding a free creepy crafting activity for children to add ghastly Halloween decorations to the library in the run-up to Halloween. The session is being run by the Friends of Lakenheath Library on Sunday 18 October from 12noon to 2pm and then again on Sunday 25 October.

Lakenheath Library is also holding a creepy crawly event on Friday 30 October from 3.30pm to 4.30pm with a chance to get close to a selection of bugs and reptiles, from cockroaches to snakes, for a show-and-tell display. Tickets are £3 per child with free entry for parents, please contact the library to book.

Lowestoft Library are holding a ‘Spooky Saturday’ for children on Saturday 31 October from 10am to 4pm. There will be spooky stories, crafts, boneyard bingo and a fancy dress competition. Free entry.

These events don’t have a Halloween theme but Sudbury Library are holding two ‘Sew Crafty’ children’s sewing sessions on Tuesday 27 from 4.45pm to 6.45pm and on Wednesday 28 October from 10am to 12noon. The sessions are £4 each – please contact the library on 01787 242570 to book a place.

Sudbury Library are also holding a Stunning Science with Kinetic Adventure Centre activities for children aged five and older on Friday 30 October from 10am to 12noon. This exciting activity gives children the chance to make a volcano, take part in mini forensic experiments and games. The session is £3 per child

Kessingland Library are holding spooky stories and creepy craft sessions on Friday 30 October.  The sessions will run from 2pm to 3.30pm for children aged  4 – 7 year olds from 2-3pm and one for over sevens from 3.15pm to 4.15pm. Please book by contacting the library on 01502 741212 or call 07519 663040.

Stoke Library in Ipswich are holding an ongoing Spooky Stories activity throughout half term where children can drop in and take part in spooky story writing, drawing and storytelling activities at any time during opening hours.


Bestselling author Louis de Bernieres to talk at Bungay Library

The bestselling author of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin and Bungay resident Louis de Bernières will be giving a talk at Bungay Library next month.

Louis will be talking about his bestselling new book ‘The Dust That Falls from Dreams’ on Friday 6 November at 7.30pm. The book was published in July and is an epic story of love and war, and of England in the first half of the twentieth century, inspired by his own family history.

Tickets are £5 including refreshments and are available from the library. Signed copies of Louis’ new book will be able to purchase.

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin has now sold over 2.5 million copies worldwide and Louis is also the author of another much loved war classic, ‘Birds Without Wings’


Suffolk’s libraries get musical on 7 November

On Saturday 7 November Suffolk Libraries will be showcasing its free digital music service across all 44 of the county’s libraries.

Freegal is a free digital music service offered by Suffolk Libraries that allows customers to download free music direct to their device or computer every week from a catalogue of over six million. Once downloaded you can keep the tracks forever and also transfer them into iTunes.

The Freegal Day on 7 November will involve all the county’s libraries playing music from the Freegal catalogue to celebrate and promote this free service which has recently been extended to include unlimited music streaming.

In the evening of 7 November, Ipswich County Library is also hosting a live music gig with acclaimed Americana band Police Dog Hogan playing live in the library. The latest Police Dog Hogan album is available on Freegal and tickets for the gig are available for £12 online or via Ipswich Library.

Freegal (named because it’s free and legal!) was launched by Suffolk Libraries two years ago. Customers are now using the service to download over 4,500 songs a month and stream over 10,000 tracks. There is also an option to download music videos.

The Freegal catalogue features over 6 million tracks including top artists from a wide range of genres and also includes the entire Sony Music catalogue.

Suffolk Libraries Information and Content Librarian, Lisa Brennan said:

“Our Freegal day aims to give customers a taste of the free music on offer from this fantastic free service, if they’ve not discovered it already. Staff will be on hand to answer questions and there will be an opportunity to browse and listen to songs. Freegal is available to anyone with a Suffolk Libraries card and with over 6 million songs to choose from there is something for everyone.”

Freegal features:

  • Download up to five free MP3 music tracks a week (or two music videos)
  • Keep downloaded tracks forever and transfer them into iTunes etc
  • Stream unlimited free music

For more information visit or

Anyone wanting to use the service who hasn’t already got a Suffolk Libraries card can sign up for free online or at any library. All you need to access Freegal is a Suffolk Libraries membership number.


Suffolk Libraries offers a chance to win ‘The Best Christmas Present in the World’

Suffolk Libraries is running a fantastic festive children’s competition and has two family tickets up for grabs for a special concert on 18 November hosted by Waterstones Bookshops at St Edmundsbury Cathedral in Bury St Edmunds. The concert will feature War Horse author Michael Morpurgo reading from his short story The Best Christmas Present in the World.

To win one of these family tickets Suffolk Libraries is asking children to write a letter to Michael Morpurgo explaining what their ‘Best Christmas Present in the World’ would be.

The winners will also receive a signed copy of The Best Christmas Present in the World and will get a chance to meet Michael Morpurgo to give him their letters after the performance.

The former Children’s Laureate will be accompanied by the renowned stage and screen actress Virginia McKenna and the six-piece acapella group Voices at the Door who will be singing Christmas carols from Britain, France and Flanders.

The competition is open for any Suffolk children aged under 16. Entries should be less than 200 words and should be emailed to [email protected] or handed in to any branch of Suffolk Libraries (with contact details attached). The competition closes on Thursday 5 November at 5pm. The winners will be selected and notified on Friday 6 November 2015. The two winning entries will each receive a family ticket (2 adults and 2 children) for the event at St Edmundsbury Cathedral at 7pm on 18th November.

The Best Christmas Present in the World, is a moving short-story of a young soldier named Jim and his personal account of the famous World War One Christmas Truce of 1914 in which an unforgettable football match took place in No-Man’s Land between the British and German troops. A century on from this landmark event, a soldier’s letter is found by chance in an antique desk – “Jim’s Last Letter: to be buried with me when the time comes.” And thus begins the quest to find his “Dearest Connie”.

Tickets for the event are £15 for adults, £8 for children and £40 for a family ticket (2 adults and 2 children) and are available from Waterstones Bury St Edmunds Butter Market (01284 750877) or Waterstones Bury St Edmunds Arc Centre (01284 750726) and .

African History event at Hadleigh Library

Hadleigh Library is hosting a free music and art event in celebration of Suffolk African History Month this Sunday.

The event takes place on Sunday 25 October from 10am to 12noon. Sura Susso a virtuoso kora player, percussionist and singer-songwriter from Gambia will be providing the music and local artist Boris Takam will be running an African art workshop.

The event is a fantastic opportunity for children to access live world music and explore African art. Everyone is welcome and the event is being supported by the Hadleigh Library Friends Group.


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