Darlington’s main library is staying at Crown Street

We want your views on how the library service at Crown Street could look in the future.

Last year, the council decided to keep the main library at Crown Street and will invest £2m in improvements and repairs.

Between now and 15 March, we are gathering your views on how Crown Street library could look in the future.

We’ll be holding drop-in events in the Cornmill Shopping Centre during February half-term for you to have your say. Events will also be held at the Dolphin Centre and Crown Street library itself.

The Friends of Darlington Libraries are working with the council to help gather your views and inform the future of the library service.

Listening to everyone’s views will help us to develop detailed plans for how the service could look in the future.

Darlington library service operates from two libraries – at Crown Street and Cockerton. They are open for a combined 77 hours a week.

Although detailed plans for Crown Street have not yet been developed, this presentation [pdf document] gives an idea of how libraries in other areas have been improved and enhanced.

We hope to see you at one of the events! If you can’t make it, you can give us your views by completing the form below.

Crown Street houses the Lending Library, Reference Library, E-Library Computer Suite, Darlington Centre for Local Studies and the Crown Street Art Gallery, a gallery space championing exciting new artwork by local and regional artists.

Our branch library in Cockerton is a small and friendly community library with easy access and free parking nearby.

The Centre for Local Studies has a large and wide ranging collection of material relating to the Borough of Darlington and surrounding area. The department aims to collect and preserve historical and contemporary material and make it available to anyone with an interest in family or local history.

The Home Library service is available for Darlington residents of all ages who are unable to access their libraries due to ill health, disability or frailty and we provide books and audio books to Darlington’s residential care homes.

Our digital library gives free access to e-books, e-magazines and comics as well as a range of online reference material.

Both libraries have free Wi-Fi and provide the following services; Rhyme time sessions for pre-school children, holiday activities, Lego club, school visits, author visits, free computer access, printing and access to Ancestry.com, while reading groups, a poetry group, knitting club and regular heritage tours are available at the Central Library.

Working with local and regional partners we aim to achieve the outcomes of the Government’s vision for the future of public libraries in England, as detailed in the DCMS report; ‘Libraries Deliver: Ambition for Public Libraries in England 2016-2021.’

A sustainable library service that meets the needs of Darlington residents and is available and welcoming to everyone. 

We want:

  • To increase access to library services so more local people have the opportunity to fully engage in education, learning, employment and community initiatives at Crown Street.
  • To ensure that the public library service within Darlington can respond to the community’s needs both now and in the future.
  • To keep books and reading at the heart of the Library service.
  • To support the town’s ambition that by 2026 Darlington is recognised for its world class heritage and as the birthplace of the modern railway, by:
    • Providing a range of creative and cultural activities for people to engage in;
    • Promoting awareness and enjoyment of Darlington’s heritage and culture;
    • Opening up access to the Centre for Local Studies, which tells the story of Darlington’s history.
Event type Location Date(s) Time(s)
Library conversation Crown Street Local Studies Tuesday 22 January 10:30am – 2:30pm
Library conversation Cockerton Library Thursday 24 January 6-7pm
Harry Potter night Crown Street Library Thursday 7 February 3:30-6pm
Lego club Crown Street Library Saturday 10 February 10am-Noon
Knitting group Crown Street Library Monday 11 February (alongside Bookstart Rhymetime) Morning: alongside the Rhymetime session
Bookstart rhymetime Crown Street Library Monday 11 February and Friday 15 February 9:45 - 11:45am and 1:45-3pm
Lego club Cockerton Library Saturday 16 February 10am - noon
Special event: Magic show and street magic Dolphin Centre and Cornmill Tuesday 19 February

11am - 1pm and the Cornmill and 1:15 - 3pm at Dolphin Centre

Library events will take place before and after the two magic shows, as well as in between the two performances

Captain Raggy Beard Crown Street Library Wednesday 20 February 10:15-11:45am
Captain Raggy Beard Cockerton Library Wednesday 20 February 1:45 - 3pm
Special event: Cool science Indoor Market Thursday 21 February

11am - 1pm

Library events will take place before and after the Cool Science performances

Your views

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