Quiz & Chip nights, BIG book sales, pop-up libraries, children’s activities, tea and talks with our famous cake!..


January 2020

Sewing Bee ……. Doing something a bit different.
Yesterday some of us abandoned our projects to start making some ‘ Marsupial Pouches.’
We heard that Tapnell Farm is collecting pouches to be taken out to Australia at the end of the month, following the devastating fires. We are going to make some more and take them across to Tapnell Farm before the end of the month.


For the animals of Australia…….Hello Crafty Friends!!
I just wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone who contributed, by sewing or knitting, to our ‘Australia’ collection of Joey Pouches, liners, hangers and bat wraps which I picked up from the library this afternoon. I counted 55 pieces in total. This was fantastic!!!
I will be taking these across to Tapnell Farm tomorrow.
If they require any more,once they have done their audit, I will let you know via this page.
If anyone still has any more items, please do take them into the library and I will see that they are delivered to one of the collecting groups.
It has felt really heartening to do something useful for such a worthy cause. We cannot begin to comprehend how many lovely creatures have been injured or traumatised by the recent wildfires in Australia. These pouches will go some way towards aiding their recovery.
You should all give yourselves a pat on the back for wanting to help.
So, once again …..THANK YOU!!! Xxx

Two Joey hanging Pouches and a set of lined Pouches.

14 bat wraps. They feel really soft and squishy!!!

Another collection of sewn and knitted Pouches and liners.

Lovely, big pouch liners.

All boxed up and ready to go!!!
February 2020

Over twenty teddy bears and assorted mythical creatures came with their owners for a sleepover.Stories and craft a lovely picnic all helped make everyone sleepy. Their friends were left for a sleepover in the library and all they got up to sorts of mischief !

March 2020

Look at the results from the wonderful pastel art workshop run by local artist Rai Baker. The group who came along were all beginners and they had a lovely time. Look out for more introduction to art and craft workshops in the future.


Fun in the Childrens Library Easter Holidays 2019

How many carrots did you find?

Two lucky winners have been picked from all the correct entries

The correct answer was 29 carrots. Well done to our winners!
Fabulous Easter Lego models from our Easter Special

Over 60 and their parents and grand parents are all enjoying Huxley Magic show . Very excited children Huxley needs a medal !!
Thank you Friends of Ryde Library funding this event!

Successful Teddybear Sleepover!

We had 22 bears (and owners) come to make eye masks, have a midnight feast and listen to stories before the bears were left overnight in the library.

When they were collected in the morning, they had photos of what the bears got up to in the night along with a certificate! Did we have some naughty bears?


Blast off Saturday 13 July! – Summer Reading Challenge

Here’s some great ideas for the summer holidays – all free events


Fantastic rockets and spaceships made at Lego club on 6 August. Impressive selection! Congratulations to the winners and a big thank you to all the children taking part in the challenge.

The rockets have blasted off and are in orbit! – all made from recycled materials by lots of keen children!

Fabulous time with our Friends from Ryde Carnival. Thanks guys for your help with the musical instrument activity!

A big thank you, from Ryde Carnival for organising such a fun activity. All the children there were really enjoying it, can’t wait to hear the maracas and tambourines they made along the route.


Out of this world special planetary art with Rai Baker. Look at our amazing results

Packed room for our 16th Quiz and Chips fantastic fun. 4 October.Image may contain: one or more people and shoes

The Gruffalo is 20 years old! Over 40 children attended our celebration on Tuesday 22 October making Gruffalo head gear and spinners. Fantastic time, wonderful creations.

Look at all these events in Ryde Library in 2018.


Ryde Junior library is getting a makeover!

Thanks to funds raised by the Friends of Ryde Library, the children’s library was painted during the week beginning 8 January. It gave a rare chance to see the commemorative plaque for the opening of the School of Art on this site in 1874 (usually hidden behind the book cases!)


Suffragette spotted in Ryde Library!  Canvassing for votes to celebrate the 100th anniversary.

The results of the LEGO 20 brick Challenge look at what was made!! Well done Lego engineers !!

Teddy Bear Story Time at the Library meet Henry’s polar bear!


Tea and Talk with cake of course!

Wonderful talk from Ryde Cats Protection thank you so much the room was packed with cat lovers.

Lovely Mothers Day craft at the Ryde Library . Planting Sunflower seeds! Enjoyed by all the children taking part.

Hogtastic time had by our hog craft crafters.

We are egg ready for Easter! Stained glass eggs crafted by our Story time children!


Ready for our 13th Quiz and Chips!!!

Lovely fish and chips and Emu is not a country but it should be! You had to be there!!

Join us for the 14th Quiz & Chips in October but don’t forget to get your tickets early to avoid disappointment. We have to limit numbers as we can’t fit any more teams in! Watch our events page for details.


Ready for our Tea and Talk – Yarmouth Pier lt’s History. Packed junior library eagerly waiting for it to start. Tea and Cake to follow! Yum.

Ruth giving her talk to a packed room. Brilliant and very interesting ! We are so lucky on the Island to have access these very talented people. Thank you Ruth.


Great turnout for our book sale, lots of money raised for future projects.


On Tuesday 22 May 2018 The Friends of Ryde Library hosted an ever popular Tea and Talk afternoon,  the penultimate before the break for childrens’ summer activities.

An enthusiastic group of listeners were entertained with an interesting talk on old Ryde Carnivals 1888 – 1988 given by Malcolm Ross with accompanying photographs, newspapers, programmes, slides and old film of some of the processions.

The talk covered the evolution of Ryde Carnival from processions to celebrate local events, such as the opening of Ryde Waterworks in 1847 and Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee in 1887, to the first real carnival procession in 1888 and up to the shorter but no less colourful parades of today. The audience asked questions and enjoyed trying to identify long gone buildings and recognising characters from past processions.

Time went far too quickly and we could have gone on all afternoon watching the old films but we had to stop to make way for Lego club. The afternoon concluded with tea and lots of home made cake accompanied by continued lively carnival chatter.

The last Tea and Talk of the season is on Tuesday 19 June at 2pm entitled ‘Down the Pit’, an amusing account of the musical highs and lows of a plucky musician, given by Jane Pelham. Hope to see you there.


Half Term Fun!

The Friends AGM took place on 26 June where the revised constitution was adopted and new committee elected. New furniture for the children’s and teenage sections of the library is on order and will brighten up the library. We look forward to another successful year starting with our book sale on Saturday 14 July.


Keeping the children entertained through the summer holidays while they were completing the summer reading challenge.



The return of the now famous Tea and Talks





An exhibition ran from 3 November until 16 November to commemorate the fallen men and women from Ryde and its neighbourhood.

The staff and about 70 volunteers have made paper poppies and grass fields to represent each one of the 665.




Watch the video below







Get Creative Weekend 7 – 8 April 2017

Lots of people joined us at the weekend to make inches (an inch square of fabric decorated any way you like).
All the finished inches will be mounted to make a collage and the  displayed in the library.

Here are some of the inches in production

and some finished inches!

Over £200 raised. Fantastic effort!

Lots of superheros invaded the children’s library and made masks and wrist bands.

Fun sewing event raising money for Age UK.

New book club for 2017 celebrating the Jane Austin Bicentennial.
Look for further dates on our Events page.

Fun games and crafts followed by stories and pirate tea.

Learning new skills on a sewing machine proved a popular course.

The team from the IW Records Office were on hand providing expert help and advice on everything to research Island history.

Members of Ryde Social Heritage Group brought some of their extensive archive of Ryde’s history and were on hand to help answer questions.



Christmas 2016 at Ryde Library


Some of the Christmas jumpers designed by the children in Ryde Library 10 December 2016 for Save the Children Jumper Day.



10th Quiz and Chips Friday 28 October 2016

17 teams took part in a fantastic quiz night at Ryde Library

10th quiz & chips14590332_1825943104310042_4774455781164931123_n14610859_1825943060976713_4372567490044460023_n14595773_1825943134310039_3456787067118647241_n14568084_1825943167643369_6464836880565474505_n

Summer 2016 in the Children’s Library

Over 700 children took part in the Summer Reading Challenge this year. As well as reading their six books through the holidays and getting certificates and medals, the children enjoyed lots of craft sessions, a character hunt, colouring competitions and completed weekly activity sheets.

Reading challenge053

wonders of east wight055under the pier056carnival craft1


Friends of Ryde Library Book Sale 18 June 2016

Tea & Talk May 20160461800 Manor of Ride

Richard Smout gave an interesting and informative talk about the work of the IW Record Office and some of the vast collection of records available for Ryde at the 2nd Tea and a Talk afternoon on Monday 23 May. Over 30 people attended the talk and, after a question and answer session, refreshing tea and home made cakes were served. Donations from the event will go to the fund for a defibrillator to be sited outside Ryde Library where it will be available for emergencies 24 hours a day.

The exciting news is the fund has reached the £400 mark already! We need to raise £1500 so some way to go yet.

Tea & Talk 25 April 2016038

The first Tea and a Talk afternoon was a great success. Over 20 people listened to a very interesting talk given by Estelle and were able to handle original and replica WW1 artefacts including letters and diaries. One lady brought her grandfather’s original WW1 diary (in near perfect condition) and allowed everyone to read it. She has kindly let Estelle scan it for the Gallipoli archive. Tea and wonderful cakes were enjoyed by all afterwards.

world book night photo 2016

World Book Night 23 April 2016

On  a chilly Saturday morning staff and Friends from Ryde Library Isle of Wight gave away over 100 World Book Night Books plus over 150 other fiction books (donated by members of the public). Giving books away amongst the carrots and cheese of the Saturday Farmers Market outside the local supermarket was an ideal spot to catch the Saturday shoppers.

It was a very busy morning many people trilled to receive a book for free! This was also an excellent opportunity to tell people all about what their local library has to offer. We received many, many positive comments.

The quick reads were particularly popular  with people who were a stranger to reading regularly. One lady said she was just going on holiday and her book was just what she wanted she hadn’t read a book for many years.

Others were very interested in applying themselves and could not believe you would get a box of books to give away! One lady said she had first received a World Book Night book two years ago and is now a steady reader using the library of course!

9th Quiz and Chips Night Friday 15 April 2016 7pm


Another great quiz night!
The quiz tables moved into the main library area for the evening to accommodate even more quizzers, a record number booking this time. Eight rounds, a special picture round based on covers from the Radio Times, great food and good company made an thoroughly entertaining evening.

The evening got off to a relatively easy start with the first round answers being nursery rhymes (apart from the questions were all cryptic!), lots of teams wishing they had played their jokers. The second round was much harder – Shakespeare 400 – and if you’ve been to the quiz before you’ll know Jonathan finds some strange and odd facts so not at all straightforward. The music round was back this time where we see Jonathan working the technology to stop the music just before the answer is revealed. Perfect timing! The sports round was quite hard with some unusual questions and we found out how little we knew about America.

The picture round of 20 questions caused much debate at half time when the much anticipated fish & chips were delivered to the door.


The evening ended with a raffle and prizes for the winning team members.

Thanks to everyone for taking part and to all the staff and volunteers for making the evening run smoothly and staying afterwards to clear up and make it look like a library again ready for Saturday morning. Special thanks to our quizmaster Jonathan.

See you all again in October for the 10th Quiz and Chips.

National Libraries Day Saturday 6 February 2016

national libraries poster 2016Family history 6 Feb005Archive-Day-3-for-website-e1453322730651

Wow! What a fantastic day, the library was so busy. The volunteers could hardly keep up with demand for tea & cakes (who made the lemon drizzle cake? – it was scrummy!)and the book sale was another huge success.

Angie held Family History taster sessions for beginners and helped those who’d hit the ‘brick wall’ in their searches. Ryde Social Heritage Group members were on hand all day with part of their extensive archive and to demonstrate the new features on their  website including the ‘all’ website search allowing more extensive searches of the whole database – this searches the grave database and all attached pdf documents. Instead of just surnames you can now enter first name and surname to limit the results or enter specific words  e.g. fireman to se  any grave record or document containing the word.

Richard, Simon & Jo from the IW Record Office were kept busy answering queries and showing some of their collection of records for Ryde.

Thanks to all the volunteers, staff, members, friends and visitors for a great National Libraries Day.

Remember a library is not just about books (but there are lots and lots of them and DVDs too!), it’s a great community hub and friendly place to be. Please visit us soon.

To read Ryde Social Heritage Group’s report on the day please click here

We had a brilliant day tea, cake, coffee , book sale, family history sessions ( thank you Angie! ) and of course Ryde Social Heritage Group with their amazing archive. The library was packed you sometimes had a job to squeeze through – thank you to everyone who helped including the dedicated Friends Group who did all the tea and washing up.” Jo Dodd

Christmas comes early! – The Christmas Craft Market Saturday 21 November 2015.

Christmas market 1Christmas market 2

The wind blew and it was a very cold day, not the best conditions to entice people out, but, despite the elements, people came to buy the lovely handmade crafts and Christmas gifts in Ryde Library.

18 stall holders set up early Saturday morning with a varied range of gifts. The tombola stall was a popular addition with a 50/50 chance of winning a prize donate by the stall holders and local businesses. The raffle was drawn at 3 o’clock, again all the wonderful prizes donated for the occasion. Congratulations to all the winners.

Refreshments were available all day served by the Friends of the Library volunteers and library staff.

Many thanks to everyone who helped make the day a success.

Christmas market 3Christmas market 4

8th Quiz and Chips quiz night Friday 9 October 2015
13 teams took part in the 8th quiz night held at Ryde library. Jonathan was Quiz Master and set some challenging questions (again!). For the first time there was a tie for first place and congratulations go to 3’s a Jolly Good Fellow and The Balch 6 teams with 84 1/2 points. The lead changed several times throughout the evening with all teams performing well. Half-time was eagerly awaited – fish and chip time. Delivered freshly-cooked and piping hot from our local shop, this is one of the highlights of the evening and again they did not disappoint. During the break there is always an extra fun round worth 20 points, the Balch 6 scoring a massive 18 1/2 points. Going in to the final round, several teams were still in the running for the title with 3’s a Jolly Good Fellow ahead by just 1 point. The Balch 6 scored 9 points to 3’s a Jolly Good Fellow’s 8 points to tie the competition. A great fun evening was enjoyed by all.
Website 1

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Website 2

Book sale volunteers 12 September 2015
Pat sorting books 12 September 2015
Volunteers at the Massive Book Sale 12 September 2015

The Massive Book Sale was a Massive success. Thanks to everyone for supporting the Friends and buying lots of books, dvd’s, cd’s, jigsaws and games.

Teddy Bears Picnic 15 August 2015
Fun in the library when the bears came out to play! Volunteers and the library staff helped the children (and adults) make teddy faces, teddy ears and ice gingerbread men. Jo and Jonathan read teddy stories, we played name the bears, hunt the bears and coloured lots of teddy pictures. Oh! don’t forget the picnic too!


Rainbow Wight Singers 2 July 2015

Great afternoon with the Rainbow Wight Singers on Thursday, part of Ryde Arts Festival 2015. Lots of songs, tea, cake and chat. Thanks to all the Friends who served the teas.


Meet the Friends 22 May 2015

The ‘Friends need Friends’ event took place in the library on Friday evening and gave people the chance to find out who the friends are, what they do and what is planned for the coming months. Ideas put forward for future events included a writers club, tea and chat afternoons, musical evenings and a photography competition.  Great to see new people coming into the library and several new volunteers signed up to help at the events. Refreshments were served by the committee. Thanks to Jo and her staff for helping The Friends stage this get together.

Friends need Friends - 2 22 May 2015

Quiz and Chips 24 October 2014

Friday 7pm to about 10:30pm.
This is now a traditional twice a year quiz night – an entertaining quiz with a delicious fish supper in the middle and raffle. The next one will be in April 2015.

Short Story Evening 26 September 2014

Friday 7:00pm
Lots of authors write short stories, and lots of people love to read short stories, but there are very few opportunities for writers to read their stories out loud to an audience, and even fewer chances for people to hear stories read to them by the original authors. The Friends of Ryde Library put on an evening of Short Stories on Friday 26 September and invited people to come and listen to local authors reading their work, or for those who write stories, read one of their stories. The charge at the door of £2.50 topped up the FORL funds, and  refreshments were provided. Doors opened at 6:30pm, and the readings started at 7:00pm.
Short story

Poetry Evening 11 July 2014

On Friday 11 July 2014, the Friends of Ryde Library hosted an evening of poetry. The theme for the evening was ‘War and Trees’, chosen to commemorate the centenary of the First World War and as part of the Ryde Arts Festival 2014 activities. Lots of people attended, local poets read their own works, others read their favourite poems on the theme, some came just to listen. There was rapt attention and respectful silence while everyone listened to the poems being read, applause after each, and occasional comments and questions, which sometimes developed into lively discussion.  Everyone agreed that it was a very enjoyable and inspiring evening, and said they were looking forward to the next one.
poetry 2

World Book Night Pop Up Library 26 April 2014

On 26 April 2014 an intrepid group of Ryde Librarians, followed by some Friends of Ryde Library, crossed George Street, and set up a Pop Up Library in the Farmer’s Market right outside the Co-op in the Town Square. We set up our stall and started engaging with members of the public, mingling with them while they were shopping, asking them about their reading habits, telling them about the activities and facilities available at Ryde Library, and offering them a free book. We spoke to people the whole morning about books and reading, and gave away over 400 books, mostly World Book Night books, and also a big pile of loved books specially donated to give away and swap. Many of the people we spoke to weren’t regular readers, and many hadn’t been to the library for a long time. Most of them expressed surprise at all the facilities now available. We went back empty-handed and very happy. Good job well done!
pop up library town square

Quiz and Chips at Ryde Library 11 April 2014

On Friday 11 April 2014 the Friends of Ryde Library ran a Quiz and Chips night at the Library. Over 70 people turned up, and there were 15 teams, including one made up of Library staff who had previously not been able to enjoy the quizzes because they were helping. So already the formation of the Friends has had one good effect on our wonderful Library staff. As usual Jonathan resided over the chaos with bonkers questions and a determination to hide the terror, in a tasteful Hawaiian shirt! The high point of the evening was the arrival of the excellent fish and chip dinners, provided by Wights. Jonathan said “The most scary moment was the Audio round, which I always expect to be a complete disaster, but somehow it staggers through to the grizzly end without mishap, apart from the obscurity of some of the questions”. The S.R.C. team were worthy winners, scoring 90.5 out of 100, and received ecstatically their prizes of individual chocolate rabbits wrapped in gold paper.  We raised £250 towards the Friends’ funds, which is fantastic. Well done everyone who turned up. Thank you to all of you, especially the Friends who helped as well as took part, the staff, and above all Jo, who makes everything possible. I hope you all enjoyed it as much as we did, and we hope to see you all at the next one, sometime in October.

Pop-Up Library April 2014

Recently the staff of Ryde Library set up a Pop-Up Library at our local Tesco store. Several staff members and Friends of Ryde Library stood inside the store doors clutching leaflets and handouts and engaged the Saturday shoppers in conversation about books and reading and the wonderful value that Libraries give. We had a table full of information about Library services, a shopping cart full of children’s books, and some flash new Library advertising provided by the Island Library Service. The initiative was a resounding success, because we were able to show that libraries are dynamic and connected parts of the local community, it raised our profile, and we managed to persuade lots of people to sign up and become Library members. Thanks to Jo and her staff for working so hard, and our Friends for giving up their time and braving the embarrassment of accosting strangers in public places. Even more amazing was how enjoyable the whole experience was. Bring on the next Pop-Up Library!
Pop up library tesco

November 2013

Mark this date in history… Let it be known, it started here. The Friends of Ryde Library officially came into being.

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