Think libraries are just about books? Then it’s time to pay 
another visit...

Children and their parents listening to stories by Ben and Holly at Southsea Library in May this year Picture: Sarah Standing (150685-4321)
Children and their parents listening to stories by Ben and Holly at Southsea Library in May this year Picture: Sarah Standing (150685-4321)
Picture: Habibur Rahman

A special school in Fareham held its first ever prom this week

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When was the last time you visited one of Portsmouth’s libraries and what did you do when you were there?

Chances are you went to borrow a book – but did you know there’s a lot more to do at your local library than that?

You could learn a new skill or craft, trace your family history, find out more about your local area, get health information and advice and meet new people.

There really is something for everyone.

eBook and eAudiobook service

You don’t have to want to read a book to benefit from your library – you can enjoy their great range of eBooks and eAudiobooks.

There’s a fantastic selection of books by bestselling authors including fiction, non-fiction, young adults’ and children’s titles.

The service can be accessed via the Borrowbox app (install from the Apple or Google Play stores) or via the website – you just need your Portsmouth library card number and library PIN to access.

Explore your archive week 16-20 November

Portsmouth History Centre at the Central Library is the place to investigate local history, find out about Portsmouth through the ages and explore your family history.

During Explore Your Archive week there will be a series of talks and workshops on local and family history.

Call Portsmouth History Centre on (023) 9268 8046 to find out about the range of activities during the week.

Support for cancer

If your life has been affected by cancer you can get support at the Macmillan Information Centre on the first floor of Portsmouth Central Library.

There are books, leaflets and CDs and information to help families affected by cancer. Trained advisors can help you find cancer-related information and signpost you to other sources of help in the community such as support groups, counselling and befriending schemes.

Call (023) 9268 8259 to arrange a one-to-one guided information session, or pop in to browse the large selection of Macmillan booklets.

There’s also a coffee morning on the first Wednesday of each month from 10am to noon.

It’s open to anyone affected by cancer, including carers, and will be an opportunity to share thoughts and experiences over coffee and cake.

Stretch your body as well as you mind

Learn simple yoga techniques to help relieve stress and bring balance to your life. Yoga has many benefits – it can increase your energy levels and improve your concentration, memory and strength.

Try it for yourself at the Central Library – the six- week course costs £30 and starts on November 13 with classes from midday to 1pm or 1.15pm to 2.15pm. Call (023) 9268 8057 to book your place.

Brush up on your digital skills

There are free courses at the Carnegie Library in Fratton – IT for beginners is on Monday mornings from November 2 to November 16 and intermediate IT is on Friday mornings from November 13 to 27.

You can learn how to make money from your digital camera at Southsea Library on Fridays from November 13 to 27 between 10am to 1pm or create a Christmas surprise with your digital camera – Fridays from December 4 to 11 between 10am and 1pm.

Or join a reading group to broaden your reading horizons and meet new people – reading for pleasure can help reduce stress, depression and the risk of dementia.

There are loads of groups and clubs across the city – ask your local library for details, follow the libraries at or 
go online.

Get crafty

Learn a new craft at Southsea library’s craft group every second Monday of the month from 2pm to 3pm or join the Mosaic Applique course running at North End Library 1pm to 4pm on Fridays from November 6 to 20.

You could try the trend and relax with colouring every Monday 2pm to 4pm at Beddow Library, Milton or unwind with knitting every Tuesday 11am to 1pm at Central Library.

There’s also a three-week course on Wednesday mornings from November 25 to December 9 where you can practise your Christmas craft skills.

Portsmouth’s Libraries

n Alderman Lacey Library, Copnor

n Central Library, Guildhall Square

n Cosham Library

n Carnegie Library, Fratton

n Beddow Library, Milton

n North End Library

n Paulsgrove Library

n Portsea Library, John Pounds Centre

n Southsea Library