28 March 2017

Most people moving house will call in their local removal company. But Sheffield Libraries do things differently and have recruited England’s Strongest Man, Paul Smith, to help create their new ‘Reading Room’.

This Thursday, 30 March, Paul will help move furniture in Sheffield’s Central Library, including the original City Librarian’s huge desk which dates back to the 1930s, from the library store into the Reading Room.

Comfortable chairs alongside classic furniture and rarely seen collections in displays are all to be part of the new look room, which will also host clubs and activities based on the collections. ‘Discovering Nature’ is the theme for April’s activities, where people can make their own woodland centre piece, attend talks and spend an evening playing botanical board games.

The new Reading Room will be located in the old reference library, where people will still be able to access all existing reference materials. Sheffield City Council aims to buck the trend and reverse the decline of users seen in reference libraries across the country by creating a more welcoming and social space.

Councillor Jack Scott, Cabinet Member for Community Services and Libraries at Sheffield City Council, said: “Our libraries in Sheffield host a huge variety of activities and it’s great the team have recruited England’s Strongest Man to help create our new Reading Room. I know this is going to be a great addition to Sheffield.

“We want to make library space even more welcoming and appeal to more people, whilst still retaining full access to our reference material. The collections are there to be seen so we’re making them more prominent to inspire more people.

“There’s a huge amount going on in all libraries across Sheffield. I hope people pop in and see what’s on offer.”

The April activities in the new Reading Room are part of Sheffield’s Multi-Story Festival which takes place in April. Visit www.sheffieldnewsroom.co.uk/multi-story2017 for more information.