Saltford Community Library volunteers celebrate 100 years of public libraries - Saltford Parish Council

Saltford Community Post Office and Library volunteers attended the B&NES Centenary Gala celebration for 100 Years of Public Libraries, including SPC’s Vice Chair Cllr David Halton in his capacity (independently of SPC) as Chair of the Saltford Library & Post Office Hub.

The photos below were taken by B&NES Ward Councillor Duncan Hounsell who also attended the event.

B&NES Council shared the following press release following the gala:

Music, dancing and drama performed by local groups and attire from the 1920s were among the gala celebrations at Bath Central Library to mark its centenary last night (July 10).

The first free public lending library in Bath opened in July 1924 in the print room of the Victoria Art Gallery by the Mayor of the time, Alderman Chas Hacker, who borrowed the first book ‘The Heavenly Twins’ by Madam Sarah Grand. 

This historic moment was recreated at last night’s gala with the current Mayor, Councillor Michelle O’Doherty, borrowing the same book to kick off the gala evening which saw performances from local artists including BathTub Orchestra, Little Dancers, Acca Sulia and Bath Operatic & Dramatic Society, as well as schoolchildren from across B&NES performing readings from the library’s Centenary Collection of 100 books from 100 years.

The library started out in 1924 with 9,200 books, with borrowers today now having access to around two million items through the Libraries West Consortium.

Over the century it has gained a children’s library, study areas, Exhibition Room, public computers and tablets, Wi-Fi, a sensory room, a virtual library and more – all free for residents and visitors to use.

The gala is the second key event in a year-long celebration of 100 years of library services in Bath and North East Somerset. Midsomer Norton Library held the first event in April with Keynsham Library’s celebration to follow in October. Celebrations are also being held in Community Libraries and the Virtual Library.

An exhibition at the library will run throughout July and August, charting the history of all the public libraries in Bath and North East Somerset: Bath Central Library, Keynsham Library, Midsomer Norton Library, the Mobile Library and all the branch and community libraries.

Councillor Tim Ball, cabinet member for Neighbourhood Services, said: “Despite the changes we’ve seen across one hundred years, lots of things have stayed the same. We offer a warm welcome at all of our libraries which provide a safe place to meet with others, enjoy activities and learn. Libraries are an integral part of our communities and it was fantastic to see past and present staff and volunteers, partner organisations and local children and artists come together for the celebrations.”

Visit the Bath and North East Somerset Libraries website for further updates and details of regular library events throughout the year.

Find out more about the council’s library and information services.

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