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Newcastle Libraries


Storytime for under 5s

Many libraries hold regular weekly storytime sessions (term-time only) where library staff read from brightly coloured picture books. Check out what’s happening in your local branch library. 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!

City  Library – Little Bears Mondays 10.30am to 11am term-time only

City Library – Storytime Saturdays 2.30pm to 3pm

Outer West Library – Little Owls Fridays 10.30am to 11.30am term-time only

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

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 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 regular events 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 – email us at


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