On Saturday 10th December 2016 Geraldine Gray will present the Neville Hoskins Lecture at The Mechanics Institute commencing at 2:30pm.
This talk will look at how the library started and developed in the Regency era, its long years as a membership library in the nineteenth century, the ups and downs of the 20th century and its survival to become a thriving independent library in the 21st century, attracting a wide membership. How has this library survived and flourished when so many similar institutions did not?
The talk will focus mainly on the library itself rather than the elegant building in which the library is housed, except where this impacts on the running of the institution. It will give a picture of what library life would have been like for the early members, the books they were reading and how they would have accessed them, as well as something on the characters involved with the Library throughout its history. Find out why the Librarian has a truncheon, what the members were getting up to in the Billiard Room, the mystery of the abandoned baby and some of the misdemeanours of both staff and members.