Bradford Libraries – Coronavirus Update

Council Managed Libraries

From Monday 23 March, all our Council managed libraries will only open from 10am until 2pm, Monday to Saturday only, due to current Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation.

These libraries are:

  • Bingley
  • City Library
  • Bradford Local Studies
  • Eccleshill
  • Ilkley
  • Keighley
  • Laisterdyke
  • Manningham
  • Shipley
  • Wibsey
  • Wyke

Community Managed Libraries

Currently, the following libraries are closed until further notice:

  • Addingham
  • Allerton
  • Bolling Hall
  • Great Horton
  • Holme Wood
  • Idle
  • Thornton
  • Wilsden
  • Wrose

Please keep checking our Twitter feed for latest news on library closures:
@bradfordlibs247, or check the individual library webpages at: Bradford Libraries

Renewals and Fines

Due to the current Coronavirus situation, we have decided to suspend all fines.  If you have any fines prior to today, these will be waived by staff when you manage to return your books.

Also, we have lifted the limit on the number of times you can renew an item.  You can renew items online at:

Or you can use our automated telephone renewal service.  Just phone 01274 430094

Skills for Work Update

Coronavirus (COVID-19) update

Bradford Council services are working closely with Public Health England and the NHS and are well-prepared to deal with coronavirus and the priority is to safeguard local communities, which sometimes involves taking preventative measure to help reduce the risk of further cases.

We will continue to support our learners and are working on training methods and how we plan to deliver over the coming weeks. We will continue to keep you updated but if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us on 01274433648 or email

We have limited access to our training centres at present and will update learners via email/phone.

Helpful links

Coronavirus (COVID-19) – UK government response:

Government travel advice:

Guidance for employers and businesses: 

NHS advice and information:

Skills for Work Apprenticeships

Skills for Work is an established training provider and part of Bradford Council.  Training is individually designed to meet your needs and is delivered by friendly, helpful staff that will support you throughout the apprenticeship.

Apprenticeships can be delivered to existing members of staff as well as new recruits using the Apprenticeship Levy. 

Skills for Work deliver the following Apprenticeships:

•Business Admin Levels 2 and 3

•Customer Service Levels 2 and 3

•Public Service Operational Delivery Officer Level 3

•Team Leader Levels 2 and 3

•Management Level 5

•Associate Project Manager Level 4

If you would like more information or would like to recruit an apprentice please contact us on 01274433648 or email

Events at Bradford Libraries

World Book Day 2020

This year World Book Day is Thursday 5 March.

Bradford Libraries have a host of free events and activities for children and their families to enjoy on and around World Book Day. We are really excited that we can offer such a wide range of activities to encourage children to celebrate World Book Day; to discover both reading and their local library. This year we also have copies of the World Book Day books to give-away to visiting pupils as well as children who come along to our pre-school and after-school events.

There are also lots of World Book Day activities for pre-schoolers and after-school for school children.

For more information visit

Writing for Well-being 10 Week Courses

Creative Writing

These courses are aimed at people who don’t usually have the opportunity or space explore their creativity. No previous experience of writing necessary.

Each course will focus on connecting with the self and others and will encourage the finding of new ways of expression and the managing of feelings through prose, poetry, memoir or journal. Creative writing has proven effective for dealing with depression and anxiety, low self-esteem, it promotes self-knowledge, it balances your emotions, improves confidence, improves the ability to communicate and generally supports good emotional health.

The courses will be facilitated by Christina Wilson who is a writer, trained in writing for therapeutic purposes facilitation and previously a Mental Health Peer Support Manager with The Cellar Trust, a mental health charity supporting people with mental health problems across Bradford, Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven.

These courses are free of charge.

Keighley Library
Fridays 10am – 12pm starting 6th March.

Menston Library
Thursdays 12.30pm – 2.30pm starting 12th March

To book a place –
Or email:

Skills for Work Apprenticeships

Skills for Work is an established training provider and part of Bradford Council. Training is individually designed to meet your needs and is delivered by friendly, helpful staff that will support you throughout your Apprenticeship.

We deliver the following Apprenticeships:

Business Admin Levels 2 and 3

Customer Service Levels 2 and 3

Team Leader/Supervisor Levels 2 and 3

Operations/Departmental Manager Level 5

Public Service Operational Delivery Officer Level 3

For more information call Peter Williams on 01274 433648 or email

Bradford Council Apprenticeships

600 people have started an apprenticeship with Bradford Council

It’s National Apprenticeship Week (3 to 9 February 2020) and we are officially celebrating starting 600 apprentices (Council and schools staff) since the launch of the Government’s apprenticeship levy scheme in 2017.

We are very proud to be able to celebrate supporting over 600 people to gain a qualification through our apprenticeship scheme since April 2017.

The Government’s apprenticeship levy was introduced in April 2017 to increase the number of apprenticeships in large organisations. This includes recruiting new apprentices and up-skilling existing staff, to develop people’s potential for their future employment.  

Apprenticeships are a growing option for people to earn while they learn – an attractive prospect for many – and, as Bradford Council recognises, a vital entry route to gaining skills and behaviours required in the professional sector.  

Most organisations with 250 or more staff in England, including Bradford Council, have a target to employ an average of at least 2.3% of their staff as new apprentice starts over the period of 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2021.

Elaine Mallinson is our Senior Learning and Development Academy Officer. She said: “Since the levy came into force, it has given the Council an opportunity to develop the skills and capabilities of existing staff through apprenticeship training and this is essential to retain and build future talent and succession plan.

“More apprenticeship standards are now available and this is a golden opportunity to help grow our own talent and develop a workforce from our local communities. Additionally, the fact that apprenticeships are now available at level 2 (equivalent to GCSEs) to level 7 (masters level qualifications) shows the broad range of opportunities available to our services and the Council as a whole.

“Converting vacancies into apprentices is also assisting the Council to increase its targets to employ younger people (as we are an ageing workforce) as well as our Corporate Parenting Agenda by offering apprenticeship opportunities to our Looked After Children.”

Next we hear from some of the 600 people who have been part of our apprenticeship scheme since April 2017. 

Apprentices can be any age, not just school leavers

Alex Clarke, Apprentice Occupational Safety Technician in the Health and Safety team, said: “I’m working my way through a Level 3 Safety, Health and Environment (SHE) Technician apprenticeship after being made redundant from my previous career of over twenty years standing.  

“This apprenticeship is very hands-on and allows me to be directly involved in the design, implementation and review of vital safety practices throughout the Council’s working remit, which is great as I am able to utilise my previous experience at the same time as developing new skills.  My colleagues are incredibly supportive and enabling and the vibe in our team is one of a collective journey.”

Apprenticeships help develop confidence and skills

Jack Pollard, Service Operations Apprentice in IT Services, said: “I started my apprenticeship in January 2019 with no industry knowledge and little confidence. On my first day I was greeted with only the warmest of welcomes and already felt part of the team.  I was first assigned to do some project work and quickly learnt the ropes. I shadowed some very talented individuals and picked up extremely valuable skills and techniques off my colleagues. Throughout the year I have seen these skills develop further and I am now very confident within my role. 

“I have done a wide range of activities during my time here and have learnt to both work independently and as part of an amazing team. I know that the work I do on a day-to-day basis has a positive impact on the organisation and I can see my contributions making a difference. I have been provided with outstanding support from the whole service and would highly recommend the apprenticeship scheme as I feel it has given me valuable experience in the industry. I feel I now have both the skills and knowledge to progress further and achieve my goals.”

Apprenticeships give people experience, qualifications and friendship

Asma Butt – Office of the Chief Executive, Support/Research Assistant, nominated for Apprentice learner of the year 2018, said “Completing my apprenticeship has been really beneficial for me as it has not only helped me secure a permanent position as a support/research assistant to the chief executive but also was a great way to build my confidence working in this office. My favourite part of the apprenticeship was completing the workshops as I got the opportunity to relate with others completing similar apprenticeships and build friendships every week. I would highly recommend anyone to do an apprenticeship, as even if you aren’t able to go on to get a permanent job you are still able to walk away with a qualification and the experience you have gained.

“With regards to the misconceptions about apprenticeships being  ‘just employed to make the tea’ there are certain aspects of the job where you are required to undertake less interesting tasks, however it’s all a part of the job and isn’t always the case but all forms part of your experience!

“Also very grateful to be working for the chief executive as I got the opportunity to meet the royals!! Which was definitely my highlight to date, but in general, I am able to be a part of working with some great people on a daily basis and also very lucky to have the best manager who has helped me so much and still is! (shout out to Seema!).”

Apprentices win awards to boost their sense of achievement

Matthew Hayes is an apprentice plumber and was named Apprentice of the Year winner at our Built Environment Construction Awards in September 2019. This award recognises qualities and achievements including improvement, effort, work ethic, quality of work, attitude and portfolio. 

Matthew said: “I feel blessed.  Having an apprenticeship with the Council (and particularly within The Built Environment’s Projects Team) has given me plenty of opportunities to train and learn skills that I may not have had a chance to learn otherwise.  The quality of the training is such that I feel confident it will open up many more doors for me in the future.” 

Benefits of the Apprenticeship Program

Hello my name is Joseph Robinson and I am the Service Improvement Apprentice for Skills for Work. I am currently working towards an Award in Business Administration Level 3. I have been in my current role for almost a year and I would like to share my experience with you. This apprenticeship has given me an opportunity to work with experienced practitioners who have been able to support me every step of the way. I have learnt to liaise with customers from all backgrounds and all walks of life.  This apprenticeship has rewarded me with an increase in responsibility; I now monitor our organisation’s waiting list and have completed a tracking project which has contributed to an increase in business for our family learning services. I would recommend an apprenticeship for anyone who wants to earn a living and build their skills whilst working towards an accredited qualification.   

Bradford Libraries Rhyme Challenge

Bradford Libraries Rhyme challenge

Get singing, get rhyming, get talking, get reading…

The Rhyme Challenge is a fun way to introduce children and families to rhymes. Rhymes may be new to families or forgotten, and they require help to build up confidence to have a go themselves.

Young children learn best through seeing someone they know well doing things, and through repetition.

Rhymes can be shared almost anywhere – in the car or bus, the bath, in the supermarket. You can use rhymes during less popular activities to encourage children, for example, tidy up time, nappy changing, going to bed.

Latest news

Welcome to this year’s Bradford Libraries Rhyme Challenge. If you are a parent, why not join in with the challenge at a library near you – see dates below.

Burley Library – 1.45pm on Tuesday 7, 14, 21 January and 4 February
Wyke Library – 2pm on Tuesday 7, 14, 21, 28 January
Wrose Library – 10.45am on Saturday 11, 25 January and 8, 22 February
Menston Library – 10.30am on Saturday 11, 25 January and 8, 22 February
Bingley Library – 10.30am on Tuesday 14, 21, 28 January and 4 February
City Library – 10am on Wednesday 15, 22, 29 January and 5 February
Ilkley Library – 10.30am on Saturday 18, 25 January and 1, 8 February
Eccleshill Library – 2pm on Monday 20, 27 January and 3, 10 February
Shipley Library – Toddlers 10am on Wednesday 22, 29 January and 5, 12 February
Shipley Library – Babies 10.45am on Wednesday 22, 29 January and 5, 12 February
Holme Wood Library – 10am on Friday 24, 31 January and 7, 14 February
Wibsey Library – 2pm on Thursday 30 January and 6, 13, 27 February
Baildon Library – 2.30pm on Thursday 30 January and 6, 13, 27 February
Manningham Library – 2.30pm on Thursday 6, 13, 20 February and 5 March
Clayton Library – 10am on Thursday 6, 13, 27 February and 5 March
Thornton Library – 11am on Wednesday 12, 26 February and 4, 11 March
Laisterdyke Library – 9.30am on Tuesday 18. 25 February and 3, 10 March
Idle Library – 2pm on Monday 2, 9, 16, 23 March
Keighley Library – 11am on Saturday 29 Feb, 7, 14, 21 March
Great Horton Library – 11am on Wednesday 4, 11, 18, 25 March

You can also take the challenge at a local toddler group or nursery between September 2019 and March 2020.

If you are an Early Years Setting and want a pack please contact

If you wish to complete the challenge without the pack – just download the Rhyme Challenge Instructions below.

Want to hear the Rhymes? Watch YouTube videos of each rhyme.  

There are also some crafts available, to go with the rhymes. You can view pictures of the crafts below:

The benefits of rhymes

  • Rhymes are often repetitive and make the words easier to learn, especially when they are sung.
  • They are a fun way for a child to acquire language skills and great building blocks for future learning.
  • Most rhymes involve some physical interaction, which adds fun, surprise and anticipation.
  • They give children a sense of story with a beginning, middle and end and an awareness of sounds.
  • Rhymes introduce numbers, colours, shapes, animals, parts of the body etc.
  • Help develop concentration and listening skills.
  • They help parents to overcome feeling shy or awkward when talking to very young children.
  • Help parents and carers realise how important they are as their child’s first teacher.
  • Sharing rhymes help bonding and togetherness between children and parents and carers.

More info on