#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…

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#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.

The fiction hotlist 6 August

The fiction hotlist is our weekly list  of all brand new fiction  and also includes titles bought for reserves, which means extra exciting gems to discover.

Browse the complete list and reserve any book via the catalogue

Blockbusters of the week are  –

A song for the dying by Stuart MacBride. Great crime novel

 The one plus one by JoJoMoyes. Popular chicklit

The city by Dean Koontz – about a musical prodigy

The Valhalla prophecy by Andy McDermott. International best selling thriller

 Recommended – Karen Robards – The Last Kiss Goodbye and Ellie Robards The Outcast Dead, they already have 5 star ratings.

Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir Who Got Trapped in an Ikea Wardrobe by Romain Puertolas coverInterested to have a go at the fascinatingly titled –  The extraordinary journey of the fakir who got trapped in an Ikea wardrobe by Puertolas, Romain.

Scifi, Horror and fantasy new this week in Leeds Libraries

Some nice new titles in these genres for fans this week.

Scifi

Bach, RachelFortune’s pawn – Deviana Morris isn’t your average mercenary. She has plans. Big ones. And a ton of ambition. One of those is going to get her killed one day – but not just yet. Not when she just got a job on a tiny trade ship with a nasty reputation for surprises. The Glorious Fool isn’t misnamed: it likes to get into trouble. And with a reputation for bad luck that makes one year as security detail on this ship equal to five years everywhere else – Devi knows she’s found the perfect way to get the jump on the next part of her Plan. But the Fool doesn’t give up its secrets without a fight, and one year might be more than even Devi can handle

Banks, Iain M Feersum endjinn  – a science fiction novel of great imagination, from a highly celebrated author.

Herbert and Anderson – Hellhole awakening General Adolphus knows the Monarchy crackdown is coming. Now he needs to pull together all the resources of the Hellhole colony, the ever-expanding shadow-Xayan settlement, and his connections with the other Deep Zone worlds

image-medium (92)Horror/Paranormal

Condit, SonjaThe starter house – When Lacey moves into her dream house, she believes it will be the perfect place to raise her first, precious child. But she soon realises that old houses hold secrets … and some secrets can kill

Duncan, GlenBy blood we live paranormal Remshi is the oldest vampire in existence. He is searching for the werewolf named Talulla, whom he believes is the reincarnation of his long lost – and only – love. But he is not the only one seeking Talulla. Hunted by the Militi Christi, a religious order hell-bent on wiping out werewolves and vampires alike, Remshi and Talulla must join forces to protect their families, fulfil an ancient prophecy and save both of their lives

Fantasy

Dalglish, DavidA dance of cloaks  – The Underworld rules the city of Veldaren. Thieves, smugglers, assassins – they fear only one man. Thren Felhorn is the greatest assassin of his time. All the thieves’ guilds of the city are under his unflinching control. If he has his way, death will soon spill out from the shadows and into the streets. Aaron is Thren’s son, trained to be heir to his father’s criminal empire. He’s cold, ruthless – everything an assassin should be. But when Aaron risks his life to protect a priest’s daughter from his own guild, he glimpses a world beyond poison, daggers, and the iron rule of his fathe

Smith, A JThe black guard The Duke of Canarn is dead, executed by the King’s decree. The city lies in chaos, its people starving, sickening, and tyrannized by the ongoing presence of the King’s mercenary army. But still hope remains: the Duke’s children, the Lord Bromvy and Lady Bronwyn, have escaped their father’s fate. Separated by enemy territory, hunted by the warrior clerics of the One God, Bromvy undertakes to win back the city with the help of the secretive outcasts of the Darkwald forest, the Dokkalfar. The Lady Bronwyn makes for the sanctuary of the Grass Sea and the warriors of Ranen with the mass of the King’s forces at her heels. And in the mountainous region of Fjorlan, the High Thain Algenon Teardrop launches his Dragon Fleet against the Red Army

Tchaikovsky, Adrian War master’s gate Relentlessly advancing towards Collegium, the Empire is again seeking to break down its walls. The mighty imperial armies have learnt from their failures, and Empress Seda will brook no weakness in her soldiers. Yet the campaign may be decided far from marching armies. In an ancient forest, the Empress Seda is seeking lost magic. Some dangerous shadow of old night is locked up among these trees and she is wants its power. Cheerwell Maker must stop her – but will their rivalry awaken something far deadlier

Wilson, GeoffreyWar of the Grail The year is 1856. King John is dead and the war that will win or lose the English rebellion has finally begun. Regiments of Rajthanan troops are massing to the south of free Shropshire while to the north, refugees bring stories of attacks by the devil himself. A strange set of maps that Jack Casey discovered in Scotland could hold the key to England’s freedom. Kanvar, the rebel’s engimatic Sikh ally, believes the charts will unlock the secrets of the Rajthanans’ magic and perhaps guide Jack to the Holy Grail. But can Jack harness the power of the Grail before the conqueror’s overwhelming forces destroy the dream of a free England forever?

McKay, Emily – The lair fantasy/dystopian Twin sisters Lily and Mel have bravely escaped the Farm – a place where young people are bred to die. Now separated, they must continue the fight on their own. After making it to a resistance base camp, Lily decides to make the difficult trek north to Canada – and safety. Meanwhile, Mel is being taught how to survive by the vampire who turned her.But when a monstrous betrayal places Lily in mortal danger, Mel must set out to find her and save her sister, But in the fight against the ultimate evil, can both hope to survive?

Duncan, GlenBy blood we live paranormal Remshi is the oldest vampire in existence. He is searching for the werewolf named Talulla, whom he believes is the reincarnation of his long lost – and only – love. But he is not the only one seeking Talulla. Hunted by the Militi Christi, a religious order hell-bent on wiping out werewolves and vampires alike, Remshi and Talulla must join forces to protect their families, fulfil an ancient prophecy and save both of their lives