Why Reading Sheffield?

This website is a resource for anybody seeking to explore, celebrate or promote reading for pleasure.

Who are we?

We are all Sheffield readers: We first got together in 2010 to share memories of how we treasured the time to read. We all found in reading a pleasure that changed how we lived.  Our backgrounds differ but we nearly all came from homes where neither parents or grandparents had any education beyond their teens.  The older members of the group had long worked to foster a love of reading: by teaching, broadcasting, working in libraries or writing books themselves. Though not all from Sheffield, we all love this city where we have spent most of our working lives. Our projects are a contribution to the social history of the people with whom we have lived and worked.

Occasionally we invite guest bloggers and are always interested to see what they say. Our posting a blog doesn’t necessarily mean of course that we agree with the views expressed. 

Our student interns:  Rebecca Arnott from Manchester University and Becca Fisher from Sheffield Hallam, inspired us in all sorts of ways, lessening our fears of using social media and preparing us to launch this website.

Our readers: Many of the readers we interviewed in our oral history project are involved in Reading Sheffield projects. Of course, the readers themselves are at the heart of our project. Without them we would not exist.

Our Red Hat supporters: The Red Hats are retired library workers in Sheffield. Their memories and experiences have helped Reading Sheffield understand why local libraries were, in the word of so many of our interviewees, ‘heaven’.

Join us

Reading Sheffield is a linked group of projects gathering and connecting the experience of reading in Sheffield during the last three hundred years. We welcome volunteers to work on current projects or suggest new ones.


Email us at: Reading.Sheffield1@gmail.com

3 thoughts on “About

  1. Yes, thanks, Peter. I have joined and my Reading Sheffield colleagues and I are distressed by the proposal. We tweet about it too (@readsheffield). Ours is an oral history project and our interviews, all available here, show how reading and Sheffield Libraries have meant to people. In the course of the project we have also been researching the library service, and recording what we have found on our blog and research pages. We hope that this might help inspire people to defend the public library service.

  2. You may have heard about the recent proposal to turn the Sheffield Central Library building into a 5 star hotel and to move the library to a new building elsewhere in the city centre. I have set up an action group on Facebook and there is also a petition to stop the council from moving the library from its present home.

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