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What's on at Wiltshire libraries this February

There's lots on offer at Wiltshire libraries this February

Published 25 January 2024

As well as providing a vast range of books and eBooks, libraries in Wiltshire also provide events to improve people's maths skills, resources to help people pass their driving theory test, 60 years of television history available to access online for free, and warm packs to support people during the winter.

Library opening times delayed for annual stock count on 5 February

On Monday 5 February, Some libraries will open slightly later than normal for their annual stock count. This includes:

  • Trowbridge, which normally opens at 9am, will open at 11am
  • Calne, which normally opens at 10am, will open at 11am
  • Bradford on Avon, which normally opens at 10am will open at 11am
  • Salisbury, which normally opens at 10am, will open at 11am
  • Melksham, which normally opens at 9.30am, will open at 10.30am (Public computers will remain accessible as per normal in non-staffed library hours of 6.30am - 7pm)
  • Corsham, which normally opens at 9am, will open at 10am

Free warm packs available at all libraries

Warm packs continue to be available at all Wiltshire libraries for people who would benefit from free essentials. Warm packs contain a scarf, thermal hat and gloves, fleece blanket, hot water bottle and leaflet with advice and guidance if people are worried about money.

Wiltshire libraries also act as warm spaces, providing a friendly welcome for people who need a space to keep warm. Libraries staff will offer support and advice such as hot drinks and energy advice. Free SIMs and mobile data for those who meet National Databank eligibility criteria are available from Chippenham, Devizes, Salisbury, Trowbridge and Warminster libraries. Libraries also offer free access to books, newspapers, Wi-Fi, computers and digital support.

Multiply events

In England, 49% of working-age adults only have maths ability at primary school-level, which is roughly 17 million people. To help with this, Wiltshire Libraries are holding a range of activities for people of all ages to help them develop their maths skills in a fun and creative way. This includes games and Lego sessions, numeracy rhyme times, treasure hunts, and quizzes with the chance to win a £10 Amazon voucher. 

Activities are available at Calne, Melksham, Devizes, Salisbury, Chippenham and Tidworth libraries. To find out about activities people should visit the Everyday maths page on our website. or take a look at their local library's Facebook page.

Free courses are also available with local providers to help with budgeting, spreadsheets or basic maths skills and library staff can help people to access these. All libraries also have a wide range of maths themed books, eBooks, and audiobooks for people to explore and develop their skills or to help support their child with maths.

Further information on library activities and details of resources available can be found on our website.

Free online driving test theory practice

Wiltshire Council library members who are learning to drive can use Theory Test Pro to practice for the driving theory test on their own devices at home or on the library computers for free.

Theory Test Pro is one of a range of online resources that Wiltshire Libraries subscribe to. Theory Test Pro provides a highly realistic online simulation of the UK's driving theory test. It contains the entire official test question bank, hazard perception video clips and an online version of the Highway Code.

Library members can access the library online resources, including Theory Test Pro, on our website. They will need their library card number and an email address to register with Theory Test Pro.

Wiltshire residents who are not yet members of the library can join online or by visiting their local library. See 'Join the library' for more information.

60 years of television history available online for free

Wiltshire Council libraries have joined libraries across the UK in providing free access to BFI Replay on the library public computers.

BFI Replay is a unique free-to-access, digital archive resource from the British Film Institute (BFI), the result of one of the UK's largest mass digitisation programmes. Designed to preserve UK moving image archives video tape collections most at risk from technical obsolescence, thousands of items that would otherwise be lost forever have been digitised across a range of tape formats spanning video's 60 year history. Thanks to National Lottery funding and the support of the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, thousands of these newly digitised moving image stories are now exclusively available to view on BFI Replay in UK-wide public lending libraries.

Drawn from the collections of the BFI National Archive and partner UK Regions and Nations Film Archives, it includes historically significant material from ITV and
Channel 4 as well as vintage interviews with Salman Rushdie, Margaret Atwood, Robin Williams and Benjamin Zephaniah.

Content highlights include a focus on TV soaps, peeling back the years of some of Britain's best-loved soap operas such as Coronation Street, Brookside, Emmerdale and Crossroads as well as less well remembered shows including Albion Market, General Hospital and Family Pride, the first British-Asian soap opera. Fondly remembered classics of children's TV also feature with episodes of 'Metal Mickey' and 'Animal Kwackers' amongst others. A perennial favourite, the public information film, is explored in a new collection, Be Careful Out There! alerting viewers to a raft of dangers including the threat of the 'Millennium Bug'.

All Wiltshire libraries offer free computer access and library staff are happy to provide help and support when using the library public computers. Library members will need their library card number and PIN to access the computers and to bring their personal headphones to enjoy the BFI Replay content.

Wiltshire residents who are not yet members of the library can join by visiting their local library. More information about joining the library can be found on 'Join the library'.

Cllr Ian Blair-Pilling, Cabinet Member for Libraries, said: "Our libraries are the focal point of our communities, offering education, fun activities, and advice and support. I'm proud that we've been able to keep our libraries open across Wiltshire, with the help of our fantastic staff and volunteers.

"There's so much to do at Wiltshire libraries this February, and I would encourage people to pop down to their local library and find out about all the events and activities they can get involved with."

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