North East Connected

Get involved with National Libraries Day in Newcastle

Screen Shot 2016-01-21 at 09.17.45On Saturday February 6th the country will be uniting to celebrate one of the true cornerstones of British society…the library!

National Libraries Day promises to deliver a programme of events that not only aims to applaud and recognise the current achievements of the libraries but to also try and bring new users through the door.

A recent national statistic revealed that libraries are as popular as ever before with libraries in the UK being visited an astonishing 265 million times last year! (source

Libraries are a vitally important public service with the buildings not only being used as a source for knowledge but also as a social meeting place, somewhere to regularly access PCs (for job searches / researching family trees), seminar rooms, business advice, event venues, and in some cases a café.

This Saturday (and the subsequent days running up to the big day) – there will be a host of events being staged in libraries across the City that will best showcase the key attributes of the service. On offer are heritage sessions, a talk and exhibition on local architecture, a poetry competition, crafts workshop, infant’s story-time, and social media training.

Councillor David Stockdale, cabinet member for communities and facilities at Newcastle City Council, said: “Our libraries are some of the most popular and well used Council buildings in the City. This is why we are trying our utmost to protect these cultural assets.

“National Libraries Day is a warm and wonderful way for people to visit their local library, and take part in something really special. It might even lead to people developing a true love affair for books and all things library based!”

Here’s a glimpse at what’s on offer in-and-around National Libraries Day:

Monday 1-6 February / East End Library / Stock display of new books

Thursday 4 February / City Library / Dunn & Hansom
Architects of Catholic Newcastle, talk by Dr Michael Johnson / 2.30pm

Saturday 6 February / City Library
Poetry by Heart County Competition with schools / 10.30-1pm
Chinese art workshop for children / 10.30-11.30pm
Fix It Café / 10-1pm

Saturday 6 February
Gosforth Library / Character trail drop in / 10-4pm
Kenton Library / Character trail drop in / 10-4pm                                                      
Outer West Library / Ralfy Rabbit Storytime drop in / 10-4pm
Fenham Library / Ralfy Rabbit Storytime drop in / 10-4pm
Cruddas Park Library / Ralfy Rabbit Storytime drop in / 10-4pm
Denton Burn Library / Ralfy Rabbit Storytime drop in / 10-4pm

Continuation of Saturday 6th February:
Newcastle Mental Health Day and Reading Well open event

As in previous years Newcastle Libraries will be celebrating Newcastle Mental Health Day at Grey’s Monument, 10am to 3pm. There will be acts, performers, stalls, national, regional and local groups and organisations showcasing what they do. Offering help, information and raising the profile of mental health and the services available for people. It’s a day for fun, information and time to talk.

‘Reading Well Books on Prescription’ is a national scheme run with a number of GP surgeries in Newcastle; where GPs and health professionals ‘prescribe’ books that can help people manage their mental wellbeing for a range of common mental health conditions including anxiety, depression, phobias and some eating disorders. The Reading Well event is in association with LAUNCHPAD.

LAUNCHPAD works to redress the balance, and offers the chance for anyone who uses mental health services in Newcastle to have their voice heard by the people who run these services.

Alisdair Cameron, Launchpad Team Leader, said: “Reading Well is a very accessible programme that allows people to read, learn and talk about issues of mental health.  It ranges from individual face-to-face conversations, through to open classes – where the books use storylines and narrative that compassionately addresses the human problems affecting the attendees of the group.

“Reading Well is proving popular but our door is always open to new people who are wanting to take part, as it provides a different perspective on mental health and gently approaches areas of human behaviour.”

Tuesday 9 February
City Library / Skype and Facetime for iPads and tablets / 10.30am—12 noon

February – March 2016
City Library, Level 6
Newcastle’s Fabulous Architecture – see some of Newcastle’s most iconic buildings in our architecture exhibition, using images from our extensive photograph collection.

For further information about the programme of events taking place in Newcastle and to get a handle on the countrywide festivities please visit the National Libraries Day website

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