Cookie Consent by Privacy Policies Generator website

Record numbers make a beeline for new look library

Record numbers make a beeline for new look library
21 March 2024

Record numbers of visitors are making a beeline for Darlington libraries’ central branch following a refurbishment which saw the restoration of its historical features alongside the addition of new facilities.

Among the new innovations which has proved most popular since the library reopened last September has been The Hive, a cutting-edge space designed to ignite curiosity and fascination in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics) activities.

After securing a £30,000 grant from LibraryOn, Darlington libraries teamed up with North East company Fuzzy Logic Studio to improve its online presence and engagement.

The Hive boasts an interactive wall mural that celebrates innovations and inventions throughout history. Augmented reality technology allows visitors to engage with the mural by scanning QR codes, revealing iconic Darlington creations including Locomotion Number 1 and the Fowler Plough.

Suzy Hill, library manager, explained: “The Hive represents a fusion of history and innovation, encouraging visitors to explore the wonders of STEAM in a dynamic and captivating environment.

“We are thrilled to offer this unique space, which has been made possible through collaborative efforts and visionary partners and funders.”

Visitors can also enjoy a self-led tour of the library using augmented reality to get a fascinating insight into the Victorian-era library, exploring the historic building like never before. The tour book incorporates QR codes which unlock images of the library as it is today, and users can then ‘scratch off’ the surface to reveal the past.

The LibraryOn grant also funded improvements to the libraries’ website including an events module and an interactive virtual tour.

Local firm Photoworks has provided virtual tours of both the central library and Cockerton library, allowing website users to view the buildings from the comfort of their own home. Videos showcasing many of the spaces and services offered by the libraries, created by XL Creative Media, feature TV and radio broadcaster Daniel Westwood, The Northern Echo’s chief features writer Chris Lloyd and the libraries’ digital engagement manager Simon Moore.

Simon said: “It’s been incredibly exciting to reveal The Hive to our customers and the opportunities to develop this area are vast. The addition of augmented reality experiences within the library offers visitors something fresh and new and it’s all been made possible by funding from Arts Council England and LibraryOn.”

The self-led tour book and augmented reality are available at Darlington library.The virtual tour and related content can be found on the website at

To find out more about the fantastic range of resources at the library and for details of events/activities log onto the website or download the Darlington library app. You can also find them on Facebook @DarlingtonLibraries.




Install our web app.