Library news and events

The latest news from Sandwell Library and Information Service including some forthcoming events.

All of our regular events can be found on the regular activities in Sandwell page. All our other events and activities can be found on the events calendar.

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‘Introduction to MySandwell’ sessions for Sandwell Residents

Six libraries in Sandwell will be running an introductory two-hour session on how to use the MySandwell portal during March 2018, aimed at local residents.

The sessions are tutored by Sandwell Adult and Family Learning Service, and cover the range of services available, and demonstrate how to create an account, using iPads provided by the library service. The session content has been developed in conjunction with the MySandwell team, and is being promoted by Libraries and Locals as a way to encourage Sandwell residents to go online when reporting problems or looking for information.

The session runs from 10.30am to 12.30pm at the following libraries and is repeated on these dates:

  • Central Library, West Bromwich - 12, 19, 26 March
  • Blackheath Library -  14, 21, 28 March
  • Oldbury Library -  12, 19, 26 March
  • Smethwick Library - 14, 21, 28 March
  • Tipton Library - 12, 19, 26 March
  • Wednesbury Library - 14, 21, 28 March

Anyone who wishes to book onto a session should contact their library to reserve a place. An email address is required to set up a MySandwell account, but library staff can assist anyone who doesn’t already have an email address. 


SHW (Sandwell Healthy Weight) are launching a brand new flexible weight management programme within all 19 Sandwell Libraries this week! Weigh2GO using Fitbit scales where you can weigh in at any time during your local library opening hours.We have also set up height charts to calculate your BMI (Body mass index).

If you want to find out more please pop into your local library.

Why not signup today!

iPad Basics – free courses for beginners

Six libraries in Sandwell will be running a series of free courses throughout the year for anyone who is interested in learning how to use an iPad tablet. If you’ve seen your children or grandchildren using an iPad and wondered what it’s all about, now’s the chance to find out.

Each course consists of six two-hour sessions, covering how to browse the internet, set up email, use Facebook and other social media, make video calls, and much more. You don’t need to already own an iPad, you can use ours during the sessions.

Courses start on Monday 25 September 2017 at Central (West Bromwich), Oldbury and Tipton Libraries; and on Wednesday 27 September at Blackheath, Smethwick and Wednesbury Libraries. Each session will begin at 10.30am, with a tutor from the Sandwell Adult and Family Learning Service. The courses will be repeated throughout the year.

If you’re interested, pop into your library to book a place.


Are you struggling to find reliable sources of information to support critical aspects of your life – such as your health and wellbeing, money, benefits or work?

Public librarians have brought together some of their preferred and trusted websites for these topics to help you find the information or services that you need.

Fully searchable by postcode, the information4living website links directly to local information in the region as well as key national sources.

Keep it down – people are reading!

Sssh - Sandwell libraries are proving so popular they are having to set aside quiet zones for people to read and study.

Library staff are setting up dedicated quiet ‘sssh zones’ in all libraries for those visitors who want a bit of silence.

Over the years all Sandwell libraries have become busy community hubs offering much more than just borrowing books. They are used by community groups, for art exhibitions, craft clubs, children’s holiday activities, for gigs, drama and dance – and now a little bit of them will be set aside during the day for quiet reading.

Councillor Richard Marshall, cabinet member for leisure, said: “We are setting up ‘sssh zones’ where we are asking people to keep conversations to a minimum, avoid taking or making phone calls and keep electronic devices on silent.

“In recent years Sandwell libraries have become really vibrant community hubs with so many interesting and different cultural events going on but we never lose sight of their initial purpose – somewhere to borrow books and if people want a quiet place to read them and study.”

For more details on quiet zones, please contact your local library or email

New COBRA service available for customers

COBRA is a comprehensive and continually updated information resource providing advice and support to micro-business owners, small firms and new business start ups.

It includes:

  • over 700 business start-up profiles and guides to business start-up ideas
  • business information fact sheets - how tos and practical small business checklists, from business plans to personnel, tax to marketing
  • UK market synopses - guides to trends and opportunities in a number of UK market sectors, with market research
  • local area profiles - guides to business support in 290 local areas in the UK.

What libraries offer young people

Last year we carried out an extensive survey across Sandwell, to find out what young people wanted from the Library Service.

Here are some of the things we have done as a result of listening to what you want:

  • We've increased the number of teenage fiction books
  • New XBox ONEs, Playstation 4s and 3D TVs
  • We are now on Facebook and Twitter
  • Free Wi-Fi is available in all libraries.

We'll be adding to this list later in the year, so watch this space.

  • We will also send out regular information to your schools and colleges about activities and events that you may be interested in.
  • You can also keep updated by signing up to our Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Every Summer we run a Reading Challenge to encourage young people to read for pleasure. This is aimed at children aged 4 to 11 years old.

Would you like to help us to inspire children to read and or help with the Summer activities?

If so, contact your local library for more details.

New eAudiobooks website

Library customers can now register for our brand new free eAudiobooks website. There are thousands of spoken-word audio titles to download and listen to on your favourite audio device such as MP3 players, smart phones, computers and more.

You can borrow items for up to 21 days, and renew them if necessary.

There are no limits to how many items you can borrow, and you will never be charged fines. You can also add items into a wish list for downloading later.

All you need to register and begin downloading is your library card number and an email address, and then complete the simple registration form.

Visit the Sandwell Library eAudiobooks website.

Black Country eBooks Service

Sandwell Library members can now use the Black Country eBooks Service to download and read ebooks.

All that is needed to login is a valid library card number, and the same password (PIN) that is used for our

Online Services website. If you don't already have a PIN, a member of library staff can create one for you.

There are thousands of titles to browse through and read. Each library customer can borrow up to 5 items, and also place reservations for items which count to your allowance. Items are loaned for 21 days, after which they become available to other customers.

You will need a supported Adobe DRM app to download the ebooks onto, such as a tablet computer, or a smartphone. Unfortunately, Amazon Kindles are not supported.

The site has a full help guide to assist you, with step-by-step instructions in how to use the service.