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Library community and events

Floor 01 refurbishment

Floor 01 in the JB Priestley Library is about to get a makeover. The area will be transformed into a modern study space, around double the current size, with calming colours and bookable rooms.

The library refurbishment is part of the University's commitment to investing in projects which will benefit all students and creating the best student experience possible at Bradford. Construction will start in April, to be completed in October, ready for the start of the new academic year. We will provide details of alternative study areas during this time.

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Do you want to find out about all our exciting events in the library? Join our library community and we will email you about activities and opportunities available.

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Library events

Forthcoming events

Library community quilt

Please come along and help start our library community quilt. The University is a vibrant patchwork of people and experiences, and we are hoping to reflect some of this in our library quilt project. Come along, take a square and decorate it to reflect what our library, learning and Bradford means to you. All the squares will then be sewn together and quilted. You don’t need to bring anything with you but your creativity, as materials will be provided.

There will be a quick presentation at the start of the session and then you will have the opportunity to gather materials to get started. We are not expecting anyone to finish anything in the session. You can take your square away and work on it at your own pace. This is also a great opportunity to make new connections and learn and share new skills.

We are hoping that you will contribute the first squares to the quilt and that we will keep adding to it, so that it becomes a living part of our library, changing, and growing as time goes by.

Location: JBP 0.17 (ask at the library counter for directions).


  • Friday 12 April 2024 12:00 - 13:00
  • Tuesday 7 May 2024 12:00 - 13:00
  • Tuesday 4 June 2024 12:00 - 13:00
  • Thursday 11 July 2024 12:00 - 13:00


Library events

Past events

Re-launch of the library book club!

To celebrate World Book Day we relaunched our staff/student library book club! We are reading The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton. We are meeting to discuss the book on 22 Apr 2024 at 12:00-13:00 in room 0.17 in the library. We have 10 copies for students to borrow in the library - ask at the library counter. Happy reading!


3 students holding books


Nursery children visit the library for World Book Day 2024

To help us celebrate World Book Day, children from the University Nursery visited our Family Study Room to listen to stories and have a tour of Floor 0.

The children borrowed a book using our self-issue machines and gave them back via the book return machine on the Learning Mall. They received a certificate and colouring sheet for doing so!

Read more about the visits and the Family Study Room on the University's news pages.

See the world through the lens of poetry

"Join us in the University Library as we set sail on a poetic adventure, where every stanza is a window into a different corner of the world. Poetry, a universal language, invites us to immerse ourselves in the rhythms, imagery, and emotions of cultures far and wide.

As we use the One World Week to celebrate the boundless creativity and imagination of poets across cultures and time periods, we will uncover the universal truths and timeless insights that unite us as human beings through the power of language and metaphor.

So, grab your metaphorical passport and join us on Wed 28 Feb 2024 from 13:00-14:00 for this exhilarating journey of discovery and delight. You will have the chance to write a stanza in your own language and pin it on the board."

This event is organised and promoted by the Library Student Event Coordinators who volunteer for the library.

About our recent Living Library event

As recounted by Mark Stanford in CampusConnect:

Real-life stories of hope and humanity were shared to help launch a Living Library service at the University of Bradford. 

The Living Library launch event gave staff and students from the University of Bradford, known as Living Books, the chance to share their personal experiences with others. 

The launch event’s theme, "What Bradford means to me? Stories of histories, hope and humanity", saw people, described as readers, have the choice between listening to eight "Living Book" titles, of their fellow University students and staff members. These book titles included "An Accidental Social Worker", "A Long Way to the University of Bradford" and "Too Clever by Half".

The eight Living Books held a 15-minute conversation with their "readers" to discuss different perspectives and experiences from their life, which aimed to develop understanding of other people's journeys. After hearing their chosen book’s story, the readers were given the chance to ask them questions. 

The new service was launched at the University's JB Priestley Library on Wednesday 21 February. Organisers are looking to hold further Living Library events in the future. 

Kirsty Carver, Head of Library Services at the University of Bradford, said: "It has gone really well. It is an opportunity to challenge your own opinions, perspectives and assumptions. The Living Library has been a collaboration with a unique group of staff across the whole of the University. It has brought together many people all interested with the whole idea of sharing stories."

Dr Karen D Thornton, Programme Leader for BA Film and Television Production at the University of Bradford, who was part of the organising group for the event, said: "The project was a brilliant opportunity for people to take some time out and find out about other people’s stories and ask questions and have that interaction."

The Living Library concept started from a Danish Human Library idea in 2000 where instead of borrowing a book to read a story, you "borrow" a person instead. This helps people ask questions of someone’s life and experience and understand any issues better. The idea is that stereotypes can be challenged when hearing stories from real people. Since 2000, similar events have taken place in more than 80 countries.

Here are the stories of two of the Living Books who told their stories at the University of Bradford's Living Library launch event: 

Case Study 1: Nico Kalkusinski 

Nico says he took a leap of independence when he left his family and friends behind in his native Poland to move to Bradford to study after a chance meeting.

Two years before he was due to finish his studies in 2017, Nico visited a careers fair and when the time came to move to university, he bought a plane ticket and moved to the University of Bradford to study for a BSc (Hons) Computer Science degree. 

But the first year of his university course in Bradford was affected by the pandemic as he could only stay in his accommodation, take part in online studying, and only left each day to either go to the gym or to work at a fast food restaurant, due to the restrictions that were in place at that time.  

He says during this period he was also struggling financially and, at one point, only had £1.43 to his name. But things improved dramatically for him during his second year of studies as he made new friends when the pandemic’s restrictions were lifted, and everything was re-opened. He also took part in a student exchange programme in the USA. 

He said: "Bradford was a leap of independence for me. I came here really to discover myself. When I came here I was a blank sheet of paper. I could write a new story. It was fun telling my story. I came here to try to motivate people, that it's not that scary to do something like I did. I want to try to inspire people to take that gamble."

Nico, whose book title at the Living Library launch was "Taking my first flight from the nest to Independence", will graduate this summer and hopes to stay in the UK. 

Case Study 2: Rifat Bashir 

Rifat Bashir, Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Co-ordinator, Centre for Inclusion & Diversity (CfID) at the University of Bradford, divided her story into three chapters for the Living Library launch – her South Asian heritage, partition to the UK and her childhood, married with three children and studying for a degree, and her hijab story. 

Rifat, who had the Living Book title of "Ow do…Meet the Hijabi Yorkshire Lass", revealed her parents moved from a village in Pakistan to England before she was born, and she went to 11 different schools during her childhood as her family regularly moved around the north of England for her father’s work. 

She talked of starting to study for a Business and Computing degree at Bradford College aged 31 after she had had her three children. 

Rifat also revealed that she has not always worn her hijab. She did not wear it when she was younger, but first started wearing it when she was studying for her degree, adding that she loves wearing her hijab and being recognised as a Muslim. 

She said: “It was really nice to get that opportunity to share my story with people. You don't often get that chance to talk to people, because we don’t have that time, as we are so busy doing our day-to-day job."