Kirklees Libraries work closely with Empathy Lab UK to make a better world through the proven power of reading.

Empathy is our ability to understand and share someone else’s feelings. It
builds stronger, kinder communities. It’s a crucial life skill that children need
to learn, thrive and contribute.

We’re not born with a fixed quantity of empathy – it’s a skill we can all learn.
Excitingly, research shows that books are a powerful tool to develop it. When
children identify with book characters, they learn to see things from others’
points of view. As they read, they are building their empathy skills.

We support the development of empathy skills by stocking and highlighting books from the Empathy Lab collections in our libraries and through our e-lending service. We organise events inspired by empathy boosting books and also offer outreach sessions to schools and groups.

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Image of Cressida Cowell and empathy quote
Image of books from empathy collection

Empathy Book Collections

Books are a powerful tool to help develop empathy. Reading helps children tune into feelings to experience other lives and other points of view at a safe distance. We’ve updated our empathy e-book collections for 2021 with these fabulous titles amongst others recommended by EmpathyLabUK.

Available to download for free on the Libby app or borrow from one of our libraries. 

Teen Empathy Collection

Children’s Empathy Collection

Find out more about digital reading and the Libby app

image of books from the teen empathy collection

Empathy Drama Workshops for Schools

For 2021, Kirklees Libraries is offering schools empathy workshops developed by Chol Theatre. Designed to introduce children and young people to the theme of empathy through a variety of creative activities, these workshops highlight different life experiences and provide opportunities to allow the participants to be aware of the feelings and emotions of other people.  

Due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, we have developed a new format to deliver these sessions through pre-recorded bitesize videos. These videos can be used in isolation or together to form roughly a 90 minute drama based empathy workshop. 

This series is loosely based around the book ‘The Boy at The Back of the Class’ by Onjali Q. Rauf. However each exercise can be adapted to fit with other books with the theme of empathy.

Chol Empathy Workshop Videos – Coming Soon!

Logo for Chol theatre
Book cover for The Boy at the Back of the Class

Find out about Library Adventures Live! our brilliant weekly author/illustrator events here, and catch up with our session with Onjali Q Rauf. 

Return to the page for Children and Young People