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Library news

For the latest news, events and new releases, read the latest copy of our eNewsletter Shelf Life, which has now been incorporated into Surrey Matters.

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Surrey Reading Aloud competition 2019

Do you know someone who is brilliant at reading aloud to children or to adults?

Surrey Libraries and Brooklands Radio are celebrating the joy of reading aloud by inviting Surrey residents to nominate people in Surrey who bring stories alive when reading aloud.

It might be a family member, your babysitter, school teacher, carer, nurse or volunteer and they might read to children, adults or the elderly, individually or in a groups. It doesn't matter as long as you love hearing them read.

We'd like to hear about them and what makes them so good at reading aloud. Nominate them by Sunday 13 October 2019 using our online form. We'll invite the best to send us a recording of themselves reading aloud a story from a list provided by us by Sunday 3 November. The recordings will be made available here and on the Brooklands Radio website from Friday 8 November. The public will be invited to vote online for their favourite reading by Sunday 8 December.

The winner and the person who nominated them will each receive a £20 book voucher and the winner will be invited to read aloud a Christmas story on Brooklands Radio.

Nominations open on Tuesday 27 August

The winner of the Children's Book Award 2019 has been announced

The winner of the 2019 Surrey Libraries' Children's Book Award is "Ask Oscar" by Alan MacDonald. Congratulations to Alan, who was presented with the Award by Deputy Lord Lieutenant Sir Richard Stilgoe, at our ceremony at Dorking Halls.

The Surrey Performing Arts Library and its proposed transfer to the charity NewSPAL

At their 26 February meeting Surrey County Council's Cabinet approved NewSPAL as the organisation to offer a Performing Arts Library service to the public. Read our update page for further details.


The BBC micro:bit is a pocket-sized computer that you can code, customise and control to bring your digital ideas, games and apps to life. Each element is completely programmable via easy-to-use software on a dedicated website.

Surrey Libraries has been involved in a nation-wide project to bring BBC micro:bits to libraries, called The Library Initiative. The vision of the Micro:bit Educational Foundation is: "to inspire every child to create their best digital future". The aim is to support young people to develop the coding skills they will need for so many careers in the future.

To borrow a Micro:bit you need to reserve them (reserve a Micro:bit online or at the library enquiry desk) and you can have them on loan for three weeks, renewable if there are no outstanding reservations. Search for microbit on the catalogue.

Find out more and take a look at some of the many Micro:bit projects

KNFB reader for those with a visual impairment

KNFB Reader is an app, downloaded onto a tablet, which converts printed text to speech by taking a photograph of the text and reading it aloud. It will read any printed text and enables those with a visual impairment, or a print impairment such as dyslexia, to access any printed material in the library.

KNFB Reader is now available in 12 Surrey Libraries:

Hearing Champion Sessions

We are very pleased to launch this free drop-in service for people with NHS hearing aids. Help available includes basic maintenance, battery supply, trouble-shooting, cleaning and re-tubing.

Sessions will be held monthly in the following libraries:

  • Camberley - first Monday of the month, 10am–12 noon.
  • Egham - first Thursday of the month, 1.30pm–2.30pm.
  • Godalming - first Monday of the month, 10.30am - 11.30am.