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“We may sit in our library and yet be in all quarters of the earth”

John Lubbock

About Us

The James Reckitt Library Endowment, known as the James Reckitt Library Trust, was established by Sir James Reckitt in 1892. A registered charity regulated by the Charity Commission (Charity Number 225497), the Endowment was originally intended to support solely the James Reckitt Library, but today helps to develop public library provision throughout the city of Hull.

Charity details, annual reports and accounts are available from the Charity Commission website.

The James Reckitt Library Trust has no connection with The Sir James Reckitt Charity, which was founded by Sir James in 1921 to support more general charitable causes that bring benefit to the people of Hull and East Yorkshire.

The public library service provided by Hull City Council is the primary object of the Trust’s funding.

The Trust is willing to consider funding proposals that involve partnership between the public library service and other organisations or funding bodies. Examples of organisations that have worked with the public library service on projects supported by the Trust include Freedom Festival, The Children’s University, The University of Hull, Hull History Centre, and Arts Council England.

Organisations wishing to express an interest in partnership with the public library service should first contact the Director of Library Services by email using [email protected].

The trust is managed by a board of independent trustees.

Chloe Frankish joined us in 2018, and was made Chair of the Board of Trustees in 2024. She is the Finance Director for Europe at Croda, a specialist chemical company committed to corporate social responsibility and with a goal to "inspire the innovators of tomorrow". Chloe grew up in the Hull area and, with 3 young children of her own, is committed to supporting initiatives which benefit the local community.

Graham Chesters is an Emeritus Professor of French at the University of Hull where he served at one time as Pro Vice-Chancellor and Chair of the Library Committee. He has been closely involved in promoting the work of Philip Larkin through the Larkin Society and Larkin25, as well as in other cultural activities in the City of Hull, including the Freedom Festival and the UK City of Culture bid.

    Councillor Haroldo Herrera-Richmond has been a City Councillor in Hull since 2015, first for the Boothferry ward and since 2018 for the St Andrews and Docklands ward. He became a Trustee of the James Reckitt Library Trust in 2021.

    Patricia (Trish) Dalby retired in 2019 as Deputy Chief Executive at Hull City Council having worked in Hull and East Riding for almost 30 years serving at both operational and strategic levels. Trish’s current volunteer roles include being: the Chair of Generation Hull, the Local Cultural Education Partnership; Chair of Welcome House, a charity supporting refugees and asylum seekers in Hull and East Riding; Vice Chair of the Freedom Festival Arts Trust; Chair of the HEY Smile Foundation; a trustee of the Frances and Cyril Bibby Bequest; and a Family and Criminal Panel Magistrate.