Library Services for Children and Young People

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).

Our events and activities delight, inspire and engage the widest range of children and young people. There’s lots to do for younger members from Story Time sessions, Bookstart and Little Bears' Club to homework help and volunteering opportunities for 13 to 18 year olds. During some holiday times we also deliver literacy-based activities across the service.

From 10am to 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 5s

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, there is no need to book just turn up and enjoy! 

Library Storytime

Little Bears

Monday 10.30am to 11am term-time only


Saturday 2.30pm to 3pm

Sunday 3pm to 3.30pm

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 277 4100 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.

Get involved

Reading Hack (Young Volunteers)

A hack is “a clever solution to a tricky problem. To hack is to modify or change something in an extraordinary way” [Urban Dictionary definition, 2009]. How does this apply to reading? Our Reading Hack volunteers are young people who aim to redefine reading and inspire other children to get involved and read as much as they can. This might involve interviewing a local author, helping run regular children events or even creating art which will be displayed throughout our libraries. Our group of Reading Hacks are committed to helping make our libraries a more engaging place for young people. Volunteers can commit as much or as little time as they want to work around their exams and school commitments. You can find information about volunteering with us by contacting

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.

Bear's Reading Adventure

Libraries are so much fun – and our sticker book is another great reason to visit one with your family.

You can find the book, Bear's Reading Adventure, in libraries. Free for families with children aged up to five, it follows the Bookstart blue bear mascot on his reading adventure, which takes him to the park, supermarket and library. However, there are ten objects missing in the book so children can collect the stickers at library visits.

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

Book a Toy Loan Service
The Book a Toy Loan Service is a joint project run by NAPI, Newcastle City Libraries and Sure Start Children's Centres.

The scheme operates in Gosforth, East End and Outer West libraries with outreach catalogues at Blakelaw, Fenham, Kenton and Newburn.
An adult requires an 18+ library ticket to access the toys and can borrow up to 4 toys for four weeks at a time free of charge.
A catalogue with photographs of the toys suitable for under 8s is available in each library.  Toys already out on loan can be reserved free of charge.
Class and author visits
Class visits can be arranged with any Newcastle Library and can include curriculum tie-in and a 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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