sccAN app which allows people to access library services 24 hours a day, seven days a week is being launched by Sunderland libraries next week.

Its launch is part of the celebrations for this year’s National Libraries Day on 6 February.

The Sunderland Libraries app is designed to make using libraries a whole lot easier by letting people find a title and reserve, borrow or renew a book straight from their mobile.

Available on both Apple and Android platforms, it also allows people to scan the barcode on any book, anywhere and check whether the library has it in stock, as well as carrying information about library opening hours and much more.

Sunderland City Library and Arts Centre is also marking national libraries day by displaying a rare collection of maritime history which hasn’t been on show previously.

The Mason Collection was donated to Sunderland Libraries by the widow of Bob Mason, a Huddersfield engineer with North East connections who had a lifetime interest in ships and the sea.

He amassed a large amount of material, a selection of which will be on display including documentation from the White Star Line and Cunard Lines and other individual memorabilia.

Councillor John Kelly, Portfolio Holder for Public Health, Wellness and Culture, said: “National Libraries Day is all about celebrating some of the fantastic work that goes on in our libraries.

“We hope people will take the time to download the app and take this rare opportunity to see the Mason Collection. We also have activities for families on too.

“Although the Mason Collection is available for public viewing on request, we don’t have room to display the collection on a permanent basis so most of it has never been on show before.

“It consists of more than 2000 books, many of them rare and mostly out of print and a number of documents including blueprints, small personal drawing books and documentation from various White Star and Cunard lines.

“We’ve been told by a former member of staff at the National Maritime Museum that it really is quite unique in its nature so we’re hoping it will prove popular on the day.”

The Mason Collection is on show in the Meeting Room at the City Library and Arts Centre between11am and 2pm

Other activities on 6 February for National Libraries Day include:

City Library and Arts Centre

Celebrate with Cinderella – 12noon – 1pm

See Emma Enchanted performing as Cinderella. Children can share a story, sing and dance, learn how to be a princess or prince and try sitting in Cinderella’s carriage

The session is in the children’s area next to Cinderella’s carriage.

Washington Town Centre Library:

Family Storysack session – 10.30am-12noon

Parents/carers are invited to bring along their child’s favourite book and design and decorate their own storysack and hand puppet. Materials are provided and suitable for children and their parent/carer.

This session is in the children’s library.