In February 2016 Reading Sheffield put out a call for memories of local libraries on the online Sheffield Forum. Here are some of the stories and comments we got.
I used to go to Firth Park Library late 30s early 40s. I would read anything I could get my hands on. I went one morning to borrow a book, read it and took it back the same afternoon to exchange for another, but the librarian wouldn’t let me as she said I hadn’t read the one I was taking back.
A recalls a private library on Abbeydale Road:
I grew up as a child on Gatefield Road, off Abbeydale Road in the fifties/early sixties. In the row of shops between the bottom of Gatefield Road and Marden Road, there was a newsagents – I believe it was called Yeadon’s. On one side of the shop, they had a small private lending library which my parents used to use regularly. I usually had the task of running errands to fetch my dad his 10 Park Drive (none of this underage stuff in those days) and my mum her quarter of liquorice torpedoes.. Sometimes, I’d take their books back, The shop always seemed very dark and miserable to me. If I’m remembering correctly, they called it the Abbeydale Lending Library. The reason I know this is because, many years later, while clearing out one of my older brother’s belongings, I found a borrowed book with that name stamped inside. The shop owners had been long gone by then, so the family guilt feeling was significantly less! After they shut, I graduated to the much grander Highfields library – “Just William” books being my staple reading for several years after.
AE thinks of the temporary library at Low Edges:
My first experience of a library was as a child and using the one on the Lowedges estate. It was in the centre of a shopping parade. It was used as a temporary facility until a new one was built at Greenhill shops. I used this for many years. I remember always wanting to take out books produced by either Antelope or Reindeer publishers although I cannot recall what the stories were about. Later I became interested in football autobiographies.
SA used three libraries for study:
I used three libraries as study areas when I was a student at Sheffield university. The reading room at the main library on Surrey Street was a great venue as it provided desk space and peace and quiet, which were not always available at home. I also used the Manor Top library for the same purpose, as well as the Woodhouse library. The Surrey St library was also a spot where street folk and those in low income boarding houses used to hang out during the colder months. It was warm in there and they were no problem.
J recalls Firth Park Library:
I have fond memories of Firth Park library. I was at Firth Park Grammar school in 47/48, after school I would go to the library & spend hours looking at reference books on ancient Egypt.
What do you remember? Please let us know.