As Part of the 2015 Takeover Challenge Day we invited Carr Manor Primary School Year 4 pupils to take over our heritage blog post for the day. We gave them a tour of the building and the department resources, so now it’s over to Caitlin, Harry, Safa and John to tell you what they found out.
We toured the building and staff only areas and saw loads of things including the stacks, the newspaper reels, carvings, the skinny dogs [Heraldic Beasts], colourful tiles and the Victorian ventilation system in the tiled hall ceiling that still works!
We heard about ghosts and a story about a snake that escaped when the museum was here.
We looked on the Leodis website and found pictures of King Alfred’s Monument near our school and then found it on the big maps that are over 100 years old.
We also looked up our dates of birth on the microfilm newspaper readers and printed out pages showing interesting things that had happened.
Our favourite part of the library was the stacks and here is its story.
The library was collapsing because of the weight of the books. A lot of the books were cleared into other buildings basements and if someone wanted that book the librarian would have to find which building a book was in, put on a coat, get the key and go get the book. Sometimes this could take more than half an hour so they decided to make more storage.
They used the courtyard where the bins were stored and built 5 floors of stacks with the stairs on the outside so you can see the old bricked up windows of the library. You can fit over 40,000 items in each stack and it is very cold. The shelves move but only if the electric motor is turned on.
Thank you Caitlin, Harry, Safa and John for visiting us. Your enthusiasm for the building and our collections made it a delight to be ‘taken over’.
“Takeover is a fun, hugely successful and exciting children and young people’s engagement project which sees organisations across England opening their doors to children and young people to take over adult roles.”
To find out more about the library stacks visit this post from last year.