#whatsyourstory – Meet Kim

kim-woodFull-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 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; Sophie, Chloe and Phoebe. 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. Using her local library has really helped Kim feel part of the community.

You don’t just have to take our word for it, here’s Kim telling you her story in her own words: https://youtu.be/C6uja0arxvw

Now you’ve met another of our Leeds Libraries ambassadors, could you be the next? If one of the many services available at Leeds Libraries has helped you, we want to know. Tweet us or write on our Facebook page using the hashtag #whatsyourstory, or email us at whatsyourstory@leeds.gov.uk, and let us know how we’ve helped you.

#whatsyourstory – Meet Jean

Jean image (2).jpgLast week we shared with you details of Bill Hyland’s great invention and this week’s post tells you all about another Leeds Libraries ambassador – Jean 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. She went on to learn how to knit and every week, Jean and her friends spend a happy afternoon knitting, chatting and relaxing over a cup of tea and a 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. Whilst her husband has been poorly, Jean finds the library a great place to ‘be around friends’ as it takes her mind off things and she always feels welcome.

Now you’ve met two more of our Leeds Libraries ambassadors, could you be the next? If one of the many services available at Leeds Libraries has helped you, we want to know. Tweet us or write on our Facebook page using the hashtag #whatsyourstory, or email us at whatsyourstory@leeds.gov.uk, and let us know how we’ve helped you.

#whatsyourstory – Meet Bill

Bill Hyland (2)We’d like to share with you the story of another inspirational Leeds resident – Bill Hyland as part of Leeds Libraries #whatsyourstory campaign.

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, 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, has helped to make 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.

We 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 Intellectual Property of others.

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

BIPC is a partnership between Leeds City Council and the British Library and is a member of the Business and IP Centre network, supported by the Intellectual Property Office, DCLG and the Arts Council.

#whatsyourstory – Meet Wayne

Our Leeds Libraries #whatsyourstory campaign had its big launch this week. This post tells you all about another of our inspirational Leeds Libraries ambassadors – Wayne Levitt.

WayneWayne 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 Louis Aaron, 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 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.

Now you’ve met our first two Leeds Libraries ambassadors, could you be the next? If one of the many services available at Leeds Libraries has helped you, we want to know. Tweet us or write on our Facebook page using the hashtag #whatsyourstory, or email us at whatsyourstory@leeds.gov.uk, and let us know how we’ve helped you.

Keep an eye out for Wayne and Ma in your local area, as you’ll be seeing their faces popping up around the city soon…

#whatsyourstory – Meet Ma

We’re very excited to announce that our #whatsyourstory campaign has officially launched! Designed to make our Leeds community aware of all the different services available at your local library, today, we’d like to share with you the story of one extremely inspirational Leeds resident.

Ma MaposaMa Maposa’s story is all about having the strength and courage to follow your dreams – you never know how far they might take you.

Ma had a tough childhood. Growing up with limited prospects, he always dreamed of something bigger. After a particularly bad day, Ma walked into the town centre to get some much-needed space. He found himself walking past Leeds Central Library, where Jamie from Studio12 was handing out flyers. Attracted to Studio12’s free music production studio, Ma began to visit. He finally had a place to be himself, and do what he loved.

Ma went from strength-to-strength, and soon found himself taking part in ‘Writing Britain’ alongside Studio12, a national project led by the British Library. You can see the short film that Ma created for Writing Britain here – which led to his work being shown on BBC3.

With a clear stepping stone formed – and a strong support network behind him in the form of Leeds Libraries and Studio12 – Ma set up his own YouTube channel, BigOnRoadTV, that promotes the talents of local up-and-coming music stars. As this grew, so did his passion for music, and he developed BigOnRoad to form his own record label under the same name.

Ma then partnered with Leeds University to run a competition called Undiscovered: Leeds, with the same aim of empowering young, talented people to get into music, with the winner receiving a record deal with BigOnRoad.

By this point, Ma had created a growing business empire. Expanding on his natural entrepreneurial flare – he had an idea for a smartphone app. Ma created Cardnet, a virtual business card sharing app, that allows you to carry and share your business cards virtually. Cardnet is a huge success, and he’s recently sold this business on.

Currently in pre-production for a film that he’s written and produced himself, Ma teaches us that you can achieve goals that you never thought possible. With the right support network – and access to the facilities you need – you never know what’s around the corner.

Now you know Ma’s story, we’d love to know yours. If Leeds Libraries has changed your life for the better, tweet us or write on our Facebook page using the hashtag #whatsyourstory, or email us at whatsyourstory@leeds.gov.uk – and it might be your story that we’re telling next.