Many of you will be familiar with the concept of ‘twinned towns’. Twinning became popular in Great Britain after the Second World War, in the belief that building links and exchanges between individual towns and cities would bring reconciliation and prosperity after years of conflict. Twinning Associations aim to promote international friendship and understanding.

Penzance is twinned with four different  towns throughout the world – Bendigo, Australia; Cuxhaven, Germany; Nevada City, California, and Concarneau, Brittany. There is a separate twinning association for each twin town. Their work is dedicated to helping their schools, sporting organisations, clubs, and other groups to forge links with those in our twin towns.

After a delayed start due to the pandemic, Morrab Library and the Penzance Concarneau Twinning Society finally had the opportunity to meet and begin what we hope will be a long and fruitful association. The aim is to forge links between ourselves and the Mediatheque in Concarneau. The Mediatheque, or media library, is the town’s public library, part of a network servicing the region, which provides a variety of both paper and digital services to the area. 

On Sunday June 26th over the Golowan weekend, Penzance welcomed a delegation from the Concarneau Twinning Society, who paid a visit to Morrab Library. They loved the library, its heritage and atmosphere, and spent far longer than planned exploring the building. We exchanged books  – donations from us included volumes about Cornwall, popular fiction and children’s books all in English, and they presented a wonderful selection of French language titles. These will be catalogued into our collections in due course and available for loan, and identified by the special bookplate made by the Twinning Society. We were also given some lovely maps and guides to Concarneau, so if anyone is planning a holiday in Brittany, drop in for some information!

The library looks forward to future collaboration with the Concarneau Mediatheque, and the Twinning Society, which may even include a librarian exchange (a certain librarian has her fingers crossed!), alongside sharing more books and information about our beautiful towns.