Messages of Support

A Special Message from the Lord Mayor of Bradford

I am delighted to warmly congratulate Bradford Libraries on their 150th anniversary.

When the library service here was founded in 1872, Bradford, and indeed the world, was a very different place. 

Prior to the Public Library Act of 1850, if you wanted to use a library you had to pay a subscription.  Our Victorian forebears saw the value in allowing access to books ‘on the rates’ and all people, regardless of class, gender, age or income, could better themselves through the library.

Our libraries have, of course, moved with the times and cater for much wider needs and interests these days. 

I have very fond memories of visiting the old ‘Central Library’ in the city centre with my family, as well as Manningham branch library, both for study and for leisure. 

I am grateful for the wide world which opened up to us through their varied and fascinating collections and I also remember the great social role the library played, as I always looked forward to meeting my friends there.  

Many congratulations on this wonderful anniversary and here’s to the next 150 years!

Lord Mayor

Bradford has long been a pioneering city with a rich literary history, so this is wonderful to help celebrate the milestone of the 150th anniversary of Bradford library which was a landmark institution in Victorian Britain. To this day, culture is at the heart of our vision for Bradford, with our strong heritage and civic pride fundamental to building an exciting future for the youngest city in the UK. Bradford is a diverse and globally connected city. Libraries are places that connect local communities and they connect us all to the wider world. On this anniversary may I take the opportunity to thank staff and volunteers in all our libraries today for the role they play in supporting and enriching the lives of people across our district – and may I encourage everyone, young and old, to use their local libraries whether it’s to help with homework, for the joy of reading or for the many other community facilities on offer.

Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe, Leader of Bradford Council.

My first library memory was going to Eccleshill Library with my mum after school. She left me to choose some books, while she went off to find some of her own, and I still remember the thrill of browsing through the children’s section and selecting three or four books. It led to a lifelong love of reading – and libraries. Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfield was one of my favourite childhood library books.

I later used Bradford Central Library, I used to revise for my exams in there and once had a teenage date there!

I’m a huge supporter of libraries, they provide a vital community service in so many ways, and we would be much poorer without them. Congratulations to Bradford Libraries Service on your 150th anniversary, and long may your wonderful work continue!

Emma Clayton, Community Content Editor at the Telegraph & Argus

Congratulations to Bradford library on your 150th birthday, I remember from a very early age being inspired by books on the weather and it’s comforting to know that this vital community resource which is open and available to everyone is still going strong!

Paul Hudson, BBC Weatherman

It’s impossible in the short lives we live to experience everything the world has to offer. Reading gives us the opportunity to explore exciting new worlds; meet with challenging and inspirational people, discover fascinating facts and experience emotions and events that we personally can only dream about.

We congratulate Bradford Libraries on its 150th anniversary and express our gratitude for the important contribution local libraries have made, and are making, in enriching our lives with literature.

Dr. Simon Ross Valentine, Bradford based author, journalist and lecturer

Libraries are wonderful places – I have used them for borrowing, for revising, for research and sometimes simply for somewhere to sit in peace for an hour. I took my children to the local library while they learnt to read.

As for my favourite book: Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro had a profound effect upon me and was on my mind for years after finishing it. I also love Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter.
I wish Bradford library well on this important occasion, and hope for another 150 years of great service.

Helen Mead, reporter, Telegraph & Argus

This is a wonderful milestone in the long history of a valuable community resource. Libraries are places of learning and liberation, they expand horizons and inspire. That is true in Bradford as elsewhere where generations of avid readers have been enriched by this wonderful public resource. Congratulations Bradford library on your 150th anniversary, and here’s to a bright future!

Simon Hinchcliffe, Headmaster – Bradford Grammar School

I’m delighted to support that great institution that is Bradford Libraries, whilst I do not originate from Keighley, I, together with my 3 children were weekly visitors to the Carnegie Library in town and we must have borrowed countless books over the years! The first children’s book that has stuck with me and I still love is ‘the bald twit lion’ by the remarkable Spike Milligan.

Julie Adams, Mayor of Keighley

Libraries play a hugely important part in the local community and I know how much my children enjoyed visiting the library when they were young and how much it encouraged them to read.

Bradford Library celebrating 150 years of providing such a wonderful facility for the public is a wonderful milestone and I very much hope it will do so for another 150 years.

Philip Davies, MP, Shipley

For 150 years Bradford Library has been a vital resource for our City. I truly believe that Bradford Libraries are an essential service, as they provide access to knowledge, learning and opportunities for all our communities. A huge thank you for all your work and congratulations on 150 years! 

Naz Shah MP, Bradford West

It is great to see that Bradford Library, and our passion for reading, have stood the test of time. The library is home to to many of my favourite books (past and present!) and I wish them all the very best for the next 150 years.

Robbie Moore MP , Keighley and Ilkley Constituency

Congratulations, Bradford Library on your 150th anniversary! Libraries invite us to explore other worlds, and my love of Christian theology and spirituality as well as different religious traditions has been nurtured by people and books. Bradford’s libraries are vital in nurturing our understanding and our imagination. Here’s to the next 150 years!

Rev. Toby Howarth, Anglican bishop of Bradford

Congratulations to Bradford Library and all the people who contribute to its continued success on their 150th anniversary. I wish them continued success in all that they do.

Libraries play a key role in supporting a local communities. The space and access to information and books provide opportunities to all for life-long learning. For young people they provide a platform for inspiration, imagination and joy. For children they provide access to reading, rhyme and pictures.

So what better book could I recommend than Cops and Robbers by Janet and Allan Ahlberg – a personal favourite. A magical short storybook that entertains and enthrals young children at their entry point in reading and learning.

John Robins, Chief Constable of West Yorkshire