#whatsyourstory
  • A to Z
  • Newsroom
  • Contact us
  • Accessibility
  • A- A+

#whatsyourstory

Our Leeds Libraries #whatsyourstory campaign is designed to let you know about all the different services available at your local library. Whether it is researching your family tree, learning new IT skills, searching for jobs, joining a readers group or attending an event there really is something for everyone. There are also a range of other Leeds Library services that can be accessed online 24 hours a day by just the click of a button. By downloading the Leeds Libraries online app facility you can also access all of our library catalogues, and over 5,000 free e-books, from the comfort of your own home.

Has your life been changed for the better as a result of the services available from Leeds Libraries? If so, we want to hear from you. Get in touch via social media (Twitter - @leedslibraries / Facebook - leedslibraries) using the hashtag #whatsyourstory or email whatsyourstory@leeds.gov.uk

We’d like to share with you the stories of five extremely inspirational Leeds residents. Please see below:
​​

Click to expandKim Wood

Full-time mum Kim Wood moved to Leeds seven years ago. With her husband working long hours and a new baby to look after, Kim felt isolated in a new area where she hardly knew anyone. She loved using her local library in Newcastle upon Tyne when she was growing up, so when she moved to Leeds she quickly sought out her local library. It’s proved a real lifeline for her and her three daughters. The girls are total bookworms and they love nothing more than coming to the library to read and explore new books – and taking home armfuls to read! Kim loves the variety of events happening at her local library and the chance to meet other parents and have some grown-up conversations! From storytimes to tea parties to food festivals, there’s always something fun going on that she can bring the family to.

But don’t just take our word for it, hear Kim tell her story in her own words: https://youtu.be/C6uja0arxvw.

Click to expandBill Hyland

72-year-old Bill Hyland, from Oakwood, invented his 4-in-1 de-burring tool for plastic pipes way back in 1976, but didn’t have the time or resources to put it into production until after he retired, when he went to an exhibition at the Central Library. The team, who he describes as  a ‘good meeting of friends’ offered him expert advice and support, including putting him in touch with Leeds Business & IP Centre. 

He then spent the next few years, using the library service to research the background of an invention and how to put the plan into action. The library staff gave him valuable feedback, as well as helping him to bring his creation to life. Seven years on, Bill’s device, the Burrfect, is on the market and selling well. Proof that you’re never too old to start something new.

Without Leeds Libraries, Bill said that he wouldn’t have known where to start. The Inventor’s Group helped him from beginning to end. Computers, and learning how to use the internet effectively, made his vision come true. Bill’s advice is ‘If anyone has an idea, bring it forward – the libraries will help’.

A specialist BIPC (Business and Intellectual Property Centre) Leeds team is available for in depth business and intellectual property enquiries. In the Business & IP centre you can find a wide range of resources which can help you, whether you are just setting up in business, writing a business plan, targeting new customers or researching new markets.

They can guide you through the procedures required to help you protect your products and services using patents, trade-marks, registered designs and copyright and can help you avoid infringing the IPR of others.

To learn more about how we can help your business please visit us at Central Library on The Headrow in Leeds – we are open 7 days a week. Alternatively phone: 0113 247 8282 or email informationandresearch@leeds.gov.uk

Click to expandJean Murgatroyd

Grandmother Jean Murgatroyd, from Armley, wanted to expand her social circle. So, she joined the ‘knit-and-natter’ group that meets at her local library. Every week, Jean and her friends spend a happy afternoon knitting, chatting and relaxing over a cup of tea and biscuit (or two). Although Jean admits she gets her stitches back-to-front sometimes, it’s a highlight of her week – and she’s always got a homemade gift for her beloved grandchildren. Definitely something worth shouting about.

Jean attends both the Armley and Bramley knitting groups and she says the library is a place to ‘be around friends’ whilst her husband has been poorly – as it takes her mind off things.

She went to learn how to knit, and even though she ‘still knits back-to-front’, she feels it’s a place where she is always welcome. She describes the ‘Knit and Natter’ group as ‘friends together’ - a place to relax with similar people.

Click to expandWayne Levitt

Wayne had always been interested in his family history, but never had the computer skills to be able to access online archives, and didn’t realise how close the facilities for learning these skills are, right here in Leeds.

One day, Wayne, from Belle Isle, took a shortcut through his local cemetery on the walk back to his house. Here, he noticed the headstone of a lady who shared the surname ‘Levitt’.  Inspired to find out more, Wayne enquired about the facilities available at Morley library, picking up information about basic computer tuition. From this, he found out about the Leeds Local and Family History library, based at Leeds Central Library. Wayne soon became a regular.

The first step on Wayne’s journey back through history was to find out about the lady on the tombstone. After tracing his family tree back two generations, he discovered that this was his great-grandmother.

Step-by-step, Wayne went further and further back through his family history – and made a ground-breaking discovery. He found that he was related to local war hero Arthur Lewis, the only person in Leeds to win a Victoria Cross for his bravery in World War Two. Looking deeper into this story, Wayne uncovered that Arthur Lewis was shot in the jaw, chest and arm, but managed to keep himself alive long enough to fly his plane to safety. Despite his fatal injuries, Arthur made it back to England but died nine hours later. 

Wayne has currently traced his family tree back as far as 1803, to his great-great-great-great grandfather and wife, David and Anna Levitt. In the past month, Wayne has found a family of Levitt’s in Brierley that fit with his existing links, as well as some warm connections in the Hull and Goole area, where he assumes that the family followed the river up to Selby where later generations lived.  ​

Click to expandMa Maposa

Ma Maposa had a tough time growing up, but always wanted to be a writer. After a bad day he took himself for a walk, and ended up walking past Leeds Central Library, where Jamie from Studio12 was handing out flyers. Attracted to the opportunity for a ‘free studio’, he made use of the facilities available. Through Studio12, Ma created BigOnRoadTV, a highly successful YouTube channel that promotes local music talent, (it also received 600,000 views in its first year), and BigOnRoad, his own media production company.

He developed BigOnRoad to encompass commercial advertising, which financially supported the project and its developments.

Ma then worked in partnership with Leeds University, where he ran a two year competition that aimed to get young people into the music industry. The winner received a record deal with BigOnRoad Records – another of Ma’s projects.

Earlier this year, Ma created an app called Cardnet, which allows professionals to carry and share their business cards digitally. He grew this, and recently sold it on.

Ma is currently going into pre-production for a film that he has written and produced himself.

His journey started at Studio12. Without their help, none of this would have happened. His aim is to ‘empower young people to get into music like him’.

Definitely our local hero. ​​


Did you find the information you were looking for?

Follow us:

  • facebook
  • twitter