Bryan Derbyshire: Librarian achieved ten-fold lending increase at Norfolk College

A library at City College Norwich had a 10-fold increase in lending during the tenure of retired librarian Bryan Derbyshire, who has died peacefully aged 79.

When he retired after 28 years' service as head of library services in 1992, there were 70,000 books, records, videos and other items – an increase on his original stock of just 8,000 volumes. And in the same period from 1964, lending rose from 8,000 to 90,000 a year.

Born in London on April 7, 1932, his family moved to Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, in 1941. He joined Southend Public Library aged 16 and after two years' National Service got the opportunity to study to become a chartered librarian at London's North-West Polytechnic. He worked at a college in Newham, London, and then moved with his family to take up the new post at Norwich in 1964.

An active member of the former Thorpe Road Methodist Church, he led Sunday School and many other social activities including trips and outings for many years. Later, he joined Heartsease Lane Methodist Church.

He had taken early retirement, partly to look after his wife, Cynthia, who died in 2002 after they had been married for 47 years. An active member of Victim Support, he was also a member of the Royal British Legion. A great reader, he also played short-mat bowls.


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He leaves four children, of which two, Anne and Michael live in Norwich, plus Kevin and Barry, and 11 grandchildren.

A funeral has been held.

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