Hay Festival Digital Winter Weekend is live now, 26–29 November 2020, bringing writers and readers together in a free digital wonderland of thoughtful conversation, storytelling, comedy and family fun. Now in its 21st year, the Festival is being streamed live with a star-studded line-up of speakers and performers. Browse the programme here and register to watch events.
1) Mary Shelley
Dreamt up on a dark and stormy night in Switzerland in the summer of 1816, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is often celebrated as the classic gothic horror novel. While the story, too, is largely set in Switzerland, it is in fact the city of Bath in Somerset, England where Shelley penned much of the tale of Victor Frankenstein and his unorthodox experiments.
Plans for the UK’s first Frankenstein museum were approved this year, to celebrate Shelley’s life, work, and the time she spent living in the city’s Abbey Churchyard – a suitably spooky location!
2) Bram Stoker
Since it was first published in the late 19th century, Bram Stoker’s Dracula has inspired countless tales of deadly beings who feast on the blood of their victims. It was the coastal town of Whitby that provided much of the inspiration for Stoker’s classic gothic novel. In 1890, Stoker spent the summer in the town, taking in the eerie ruins of Whitby Abbey and the dramatic North Yorkshire coastline where Count Dracula first arrives in England, in the form of a large black dog. It was even in a book in Whitby’s library that Stoker found inspiration for the name for the infamous Count.
3) Arthur Conan Doyle
The Hound of the Baskervilles, 1901
Hailing from the Scottish capital of Edinburgh, Arthur Conan Doyle is known the world over as the creator of the legendary Sherlock Holmes and his loyal sidekick, John Watson. It was in one of his lecturers at Edinburgh University, Dr Joseph Bell, that Conan Doyle found the inspiration for his sharp-witted detective.
While Holmes and Watson faced all manner of strange mysteries, arguably their darkest adventure took them to the rugged moorlands of Dartmoor in Devon, where a monstrous supernatural hound is still said to roam.
(4) C.S. Lewis
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, 1950
Belfast-born C.S. Lewis created some of the most iconic characters in British children’s literature. From the faun Mr Tumnus to the majestic King of Beasts Aslan himself, the inhabitants of the magical world of Narnia have been captured in bronze form in Belfast’s C.S. Lewis Square. The scariest of all his creations, though, is doubtlessly Jadis, the White Witch, who turns all those who dare to defy her to ice…
5) Roald Dahl
The Witches, 1983
Cardiff-born Roald Dahl’s terrifying tale The Witches tells the story of a brave young boy and his Norwegian grandmother, and their quest to defeat a coven of child-hating witches. Some of the story’s most haunting scenes take place at the grand Hotel Excelsior, where the witches gather to hatch their plans for ridding the world of all children.
In the 1990 film, The Headland Hotel in Newquay, Cornwall was used as the setting for the witches’ convention, offering a perfect backdrop for Dahl’s classic – which is still widely seen as one of the scariest children’s books ever written!
Why not check out some of the most haunted spots in the UK this autumn– or get planning for next year! And for even more inspiration, take a look at Visit Britain’s interactive map of haunted Britain.
We very much regret that we will have to close the library again with effect from Thursday 5th November 2020 until such time as the Government Guidelines allow us to re-open. (Hopefully that will be in December)
We would like to remind patrons that we will be open on
Wednesday 4th November from 12.00 until 2.00pm
to enable you to return any books that you have finished and to stock up on your reading materials for the next month.
Books may be returned via our letterbox during the lockdown
Digital Champions Action Learning Sets aim to to look at how technology can help people in all different situations explore digital options and how to overcome any barriers to using technology. Try the links below.
THE NHS APPS LIBRARY is also very good, particularly with there being waiting lists to see mental health professional at the moment. They have extensive apps for many different conditions, lots of which are free..
Customer Reservation Service
From Monday 14th September the Libraries West reservation system will be available for Dorset Library Service customers.
The reservation limit will be temporarily reduced to 10 (from 20) until further notice to help manage the volume.
From 14th September previously suspended hire, overdue and reservation charges (where relevant) will start being applied.
Arts Award Discover, administered by Trinity College London is available to all children aged 5+. This introductory qualification in the Arts is designed to get children and young people engaged with and excited about the arts in the broadest sense. Taking part through Dorset Libraries is free, we ask that families contact us to register and we will be able to guide them through the process as required, moderate their work and order their certificates. All of the activities in this newsletter could be included in Arts Award Discover.
Sharing your reading experience about a book you have read can be really interesting. It can make you think about what you liked or didn't like about the book, or what emotions you felt after reading the book. If you like to talk about books, why not join our virtual reading group which meets the last Thursday of each month. If you'd like to know more, and receive your invite simply email .
The Library officially re-opened this morning at 10.00am
It's been a long time and our team are really looking forward to welcoming you all back
Our picture below shows from L-R
Chairman of the Friends Group. Jan Wardell
Secretary Carol Blakesmith
Chairman of the Management Group,. Margaret Jackson,.
Volunteer Edie Bartlett
Dorset libraries to offer order and collect service from this July
Following the Government’s recent announcement, our libraries will start a phased reopening from 8 July. The initial reopening plans, focused on the safety of customers and library employees, will provide existing users with an order and collect service. People will be able to order their preferred categories of books and other items to collect at an allocated time from 22 of Dorset’s 23 libraries.
Books will be available to order online on our website from 8 July by simply completing a short form about reading preferences. For those without online access, an order can be made by phoning 01305 228400.
All Dorset Library customers can now read daily newspapers on their device with the RBDigital App.
Access the full text of 1000+ daily, weekly and monthly newspapers from over 100 countries (and in 60 languages), including 166 local, regional and national UK titles.
If you already use the app to read e-magazines and e-comics, you'll see the link to newspapers in the contents list. If you haven't used it before, sign up with your library card. Find out more here