Accessing Children and Young People's Library Services

Accessing Children and Young People's Library Services

Newcastle Libraries places the emphasis on Reading for Pleasure which helps young people grow into productive adults. We do not put any age categories on our book stock and use “Stories” as our headers.  We encourage a “library journey” from baby books in baskets to kinderboxes to Read Alone and Junior fiction. It is about children choosing a book they would like to read regardless of age or ability (some children prefer a book with lots of images).

From 10 - 11am every Saturday on level 3, City Library,  we will avoid any excess noise to make the library quieter and calmer to help customers with autism and other additional needs.

Storytime for under 5's

Many libraries hold regular weekly storytime sessions (term-time only) where library staff read from brightly coloured picture books. Enjoy stories in a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere, explore what the library has to offer, make friends, and listen to stories that will encourage young children to develop a life-long love love of books from an early age. These events are free of charge.

To keep up to date on every event please check our Eventbrite Page or follow @Toonlibraries on Twitter.

For more information or to sign up for any of our library services, please phone 0191 2774100 or email

Annual events

Summer Reading Challenge

The Summer Reading Challenge is an annual event that takes place during the summer holidays. Children are encouraged to sign up to their local library, borrow and read six books or more and visit the library 3 times. The Summer Reading Challenge is in partnership with the Reading Agency. Visit the Summer Reading Challenge website to find information, book lists, competitions and games.
Alternatively you can follow @ReadingAgency on Twitter

Northern Children's Book Festival

Running for thirty plus years the Northern Children’s Book Festival is the largest free annual reading celebration in Europe. Public Library authorities in the North East, between the Tees and the Tweed take part in the event and help make it a fantastic time where children can meet their favourite authors and participate in events and activities. Information about the festival can be found by visiting the NCBF website.

Alternatively you can visit them on Facebook or follow @NCBFGalaDay on Twitter.

Homework help

You can get help with homework or find out some new facts using the Britannica Online Encyclopedia.  You will need your library ticket number and PIN to access it. Access Britannica Online.


Bookstart is a national book-gifting scheme built on the simple premise that children who have an early introduction to books benefit in lots of ways educationally, socially, culturally and emotionally. Libraries encourage parents to become aware and engage in their child's early learning through the enjoyment of book sharing. Here in Newcastle we are working with a range of partners Health, Education and Libraries to deliver Bookstart to babies and children up to four years of age. It will provide stimulating exciting gifts for young children with the aim of encouraging and supporting families to share and enjoy books together.

  • Bookstart for babies - This pack is a gift to all babies living within Newcastle. Available from health visitors as they carry out a contact visit. If English is not your first language, you may be able to get a book in  .another language  as  part of your Bookstart packs.
  • Treasure Pack - This is the gift available to 3 year olds in their final year of and will be given out by nursery staff across the city.

 For more information please see the Bookstart website.

Early Years Library Loan Service

The Early Years Library Loan Service is a free service we provide to nurseries, playgroups, parent and toddler groups and childminders who require more than 20 books or who look after children with special needs. A box or reusable bag of resources can be issued and then changed termly. These are sent to and collected at a library branch, which is specified by the nursery / playgroup / school etc. Materials available include:

  • Resources for numeracy, literacy and personal, social and emotional development
  • Books for babies including board, bath and cloth books
  • Resources for children with particular needs and disabilities
  • Dual Language Books

Class visits

Class visits can be arranged with any Newcastle Library and can include curriculum tie-in and snapshot of library skills. These can be a regular or one off sessions. . To set up a free visit, please get in touch with your local library. If you would like an author / poet or illustrator to visit your school, but you don't know who to book or how to go about it, Newcastle Libraries can offer you advice.


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