Film ID:
YFA 1296

BOOKS IN HAND

1956

Visitor Tabs

Description

A promotional film made by Sheffield Photo Finishers for Sheffield City Council Libraries Committee, this film focuses on the library services in Sheffield.  It includes footage of the Central Library on Surry Street as well as the Children’s Library.

The film opens with a shot of Hillsborough Park where five people sit reading.  Their book of choice is shown.  The film then takes a closer look behind the scenes of Sheffield’s City Libraries.  This begins in the Central Library (Surrey Street) with the Library Committee of the City Council.   Various aspects of the library/librarians work are shown including issuing books, acquiring new and old materials, cataloguing, preparation for shelving, and inter-library loans.  

The film then goes on to highlight other aspects of library system:  timetables, maps, business directories, a source for academic research, postal enquiries, the General Reference Library, old newspapers, Patents, and reports from the Atomic Energy Authorities of Britain, Canada and the USA.  (The Central Library is one of the few British libraries to keep such reports.)  The Central Library is also at the centre of a network for the sharing of technical information in South Yorkshire.   

A member of staff from the Local History and Archive Department is shown repairing an old manuscript before examining the history of the Surrey Street site.  It was formerly the site of the Music Hall, where in 1852 Charles Dickens, Wilkie Collins, and John Tenniel all performed in a play.  The library’s Little Theatre continues to provide a venue for amateur dramatics, and there are sets of plays for performance or reading groups.   

A Children’s Library is shown in the Manor Branch Library.  It is a space where children can pursue their own interests, become involved in the running of the library, attend film shows or listen to stories told by their librarian.  The provision of books for the elder generation is also highlighted.   

Some of the other branch libraries around Sheffield are highlighted including those at Woodhouse and ManorPark.  The plan for a new library at Woodseats is also shown.  Finally, back at the park, the readers realize it is time to head home, and do so with, “books in hand.”