Charles Avison Building
33 New Bridge Street West
Newcastle upon Tyne

View the location of City Library.

This library is autism friendly see user guide (pdf, 1.96mb).

Contact us

Phone: 0191 277 4100

You can also find us on Twitter, like us on Facebook or follow us on Instagram!

Opening hours

Monday 10am - 7pm
Tuesday 10am - 7pm
Wednesday 10am - 7pm
Thursday 10am - 7pm
Friday 10am - 5pm
Saturday 10am - 4pm
Sunday 11am - 4pm

Please note: the public computers are automatically turned off 15 minutes before closing time.

If we are not open remember you can renew and reserve items, chat to a librarian and access other helpful resources on the online 24 Hour Library. You can also search for a book or other item on our online catalogue or download ebooks and audiobooks.

Join the library or renew your card online


Our facilities include:

  • Extensive lending collection of fiction, non fiction and graphic novels. Books can be reserved online using our online catalogue.
  • Events and activities for all ages. Find out more on our blog.
  • Large historical collections of books, periodicals and maps
  • Current newspapers and magazines
  • Information service including business, marketing, intellectual property, statistics, information about community groups, events information and general enquiries
  • Health and Wellbeing Collection
  • Music and Movies section with a lending collection of printed music, CDs, DVDs and blu-ray
  • Study space
  • Free access to the internet, email and other applications
  • Free wifi access
  • Free 1-2-1 internet taster sessions
  • Fax service
  • Local Studies and Family History department - with unique material relating to the North East including the largest local newspaper archive in the UK
  • The Newcastle Collection - a display of rare books and illustrations including Thomas Bewick's tools and worktable and the ability to turn the pages of rare heritage books on a Turning the Pages console
  • Exhibitions and displays
  • Reading groups and lifelong learning classes
  • Computer suite
  • Meeting rooms available for hire
  • Cafe
  • Performance hall capable of seating 185 people
  • 24 hour loan and returns service via a vending machine on John Dobson street
  • Community information
  • Dedicated area for the visually impaired, including electronic book magnifier and accessible computer
  • Homework support
  • Storytimes
  • Leaflets on local attractions
  • Local bus timetables
  • Tyne Bridge Publishing books for sale
  • Foreign language magazines and newspapers
  • Lifelong Learning courses
  • iStop job search kiosk
  • Photo booth (passport standard)

Other Services in the Library

  • Citizen Advice Newcastle  provides a free service which is confidential and open to anyone who lives or works in Newcastle.
  • Connexions provides careers information, advice and guidance to young people aged 13-19 (and up to age 25 for young people with special needs).

Cafe at City Library

The 100 seater cafe is on level 2 of the City Library and has an extensive menu of freshly made sandwiches, hot lunches, snacks and hand-made cakes. Find out more about the cafe.

About your new library

The new City Library building is named Charles Avison Building after the 18th century JamesNewcastle composer. On Sunday 21 June 2009 the building was formally dedicated by Dr Herbert Loebl who unveiled a plaque in the library as part of the Avison Ensemble Young Musicians Awards.

Our new state of the art City Library opened its doors for the first time on Sunday 7 June 2009 at 11am. Opening this wonderful new library on a Sunday was a symbolic statement, and one which emphasises Newcastle City Council's commitment to providing contemporary and easily accessible services.

city libraryThe new main entrance into the building is through a dramatic blue glass box on New Bridge Street West with a second entrance on Princess Square. Level 1 has a stunning range of new non-fiction titles as well as an integrated reference library. The whole building will be self service with self-issue and return facilities. This means that instead of being stationed behind a desk our staff can help you more easily.

On the Princess Square level we have a superb cafe (with additional outdoor seating on the redeveloped Princess Square), express email facilities, meeting rooms and the Bewick Hall - a performance space that can seat up to 185 people. There are also superb display and exhibition facilities.

Level 3 includes a wonderful new children's library as well as adult fiction and community languages. It also has a music and audio visual section for music scores, DVDs. blurays and CDs.

Level 4 is the main floor for free public computer use. Over 30 computers can be booked free of charge for up to 2 hours. There are over 100 computers throughout the building, including the facility to scan documents. 

Level 6 provides a stunning local studies and family history service, with unique local collections, generous research and study space and the latest standard of protection (BS 5454) for Newcastle's unique printed resources. Here you will see the Newcastle Collection - an exhibition of the very special rare books that the City Library owns.

Perhaps more unusual is the 24 hour vending machine, providing a range of books and DVDs from the external 24 hours service library The library also has a British Library 'Turning the Pages' digital kiosk which highlights examples from our rare books collection.

Throughout the building are features such as limestone flooring, specially commissioned furniture, the latest self-service facilities, and specialist book exhibition areas.

We hope you visit the new building and that you find it a building to 'delight and inspire'.

Accessibility information

The DisabledGo website has full information on the accessibility of City Library.

Computers and wifi

City Library has over 100 People's Network computers and free wifi is available thorughout the building. To use a computer you need your library ticket and PIN. They can be pre-booked by phoning 0191 2774100 or alternatively you can just turn up and see what is available.

City Library public art

During the early summer of 2007 over a thousand people in Newcastle were asked four questions:

  • What makes you happy?
  • What would you change?
  • What do you fear?
  • What gives you hope?

The answers were woven directly into drawings that are printed onto the glazed elevation of the new City Library. See the City Library Public Art page for more information and images.

Meeting rooms

City Library is a fantastic modern building and is an ideal venue for exhibitions, music and drama performances, meetings, training sessions or exams. For more information see our meeting rooms and exhibition space page.

Children's activities

There are regular storytimes in City Library from 11:am - 11:30am every Saturday and 3pm - 3:30pm every Sunday. Details of other activities for children, including craft sessions, can be found on our Eventbrite page.

The Persian Library

A collection of books in Farsi is available at City Library, set up with the assistance of the Friends of the Persian Library. You can consult a list of books available for four week loan in City Library. If you are unable to visit City Library and you wish to reserve a book please contact us using the details above.

Page last updated: 
20 March 2017
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