Please Note: The automated renewal line 01670 505016 is currently not working.  Items can be renewed online or at any Northumberland Library.  We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

20/11/17: South Beach Library will be closed this morning and open at 1pm today.  Guide Post Library will close at 4pm today.  Haltwhistle Library will close at 3pm today.

Keep up to date with all the latest news and events from Northumberland Libraries by reading our blog.

Local Artists Decorate Corbridge Library

Two local artists have voluntarily given up their time to decorate the walls of Corbridge Library and Tourist Information Centre. 

Chris Younger painted a Kielder Dark skies scene in the entrance porch. Chris is a Fine artist, landscape painter and mural painter. As well as working as a teacher but also paints scenes for television sets such as "The Dumping Ground".

Andrew Sales painted our BFG themed walls in our children's library area. Andrew studied art at Loughborough university before moving back to the North East. He is inspired by artists such as Van Gogh and is always looking for new projects and challenges.

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Christmas Reading Challenge

Join in the festive fun!

From Monday 28th of November until Saturday 31st of December, we will be holding a Christmas Reading golden ticket1Challenge.

Every time you visit the library or join a friend, you will receive a golden ticket. One lucky winner will be chosen at random. The more you visit, the more chances to win the prize of a Christmas goody bag! 

National Poetry Day

The 6th October is National Poetry and in celebration Northumberland Libraries will be holding various events across the County! NPL Logo 2

You can join us at Blyth and Morpeth Library for a morning or an afternoon of Tea and Poetry. Come along and bring with you a few of your favourite poems to discuss with like minded individuals.


On the 6th October poet Kathleen Jamie and author Sarah Moss will be joining us and all Poets in Residence at The Northern Poetry Library Launch at Morpeth Chantry, where we will be celebrating the launch of the Hexham Book Festival's 10th anniversary eBook 'Northumberland. Time and Place'. 

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All of our libraries will be running a quiz and treasure hunt in celebration of National Poetry Day. All are welcome to take part, either pop in to your library or alternatively download the quiz and treasure hunt forms from the links below. The lucky will winner will receive a £10 book voucher! Competition closes Thursday 6th October.






Congratulations to our Winners!


Congratulations to our Ship Shape Poetry Competition winner Christine Lowes! 


The Fleet

Talls ShipsThere is a familiar arrangement of sea and cliff

where the golden fish-hook bay fails to capture

the milky-green waves sweeping to the beach.


It is here that the evening haze is peacock-coloured

and delicate hues run slowly over sky and

water, then melt smoothly together like oil. 


Marvel at the moon as it rises out of the sea

to hang motionless like a foreign bloom 

to beam dazzling light on a reek of weed and guts.


Watch at dawn, as far out to sea, through melting mist

will emerge the impression of a horizon which 

hides more distance than you will ever see.


Look closely, and a white sailed fishing fleet

will emerge, voiceless, timeless, quiet as air

as it drifts like scraps of paper, 

slicing in fast, sharp curves 

towards the women who wait.



2nd and 3rd place:

Alistair Finlayson - Old Tar Thoughts
Chris Raetschus - Say It Never Happened
And highly commended Nancy Priest - Lindisfarne Seals
Congratluations to our winner of the childrens competition Ciara Moor - Picnic at the Beach

Summer Reading Challenge Presentations

Congratulations to all who have completed the Summer Reading Challenge 2016! medal and certificate

Once again we are holding a special presentation of medals and certificates for all children who have successfully completed this year's Summer Reading Challenge.
We are inviting children and their families along to their local library where we will celebrate this special event. 
One child from each library will receive the Branch Prize, this year the prize is a Big Friendly Read Kit Bag and Activity Book.  The winner of the branch prize will then go through to the County Prize Draw where they will be in with a chance of winning 'Chocolate to Christmas' - one bar of delicious popping candy chocolate per week from October through to Christmas, donated by North Chocolate, a local artisan chocolate maker.'  The County Prize Draw will take place at the Ashington Library presentation on Thursday 22nd September at 4pm, with Cllr Chisholm drawing out the lucky winner.
So don't forget to come along and claim your medal and certificate if you have completed the challenge! Presentations will be taking place:
  • Tuesday 13th Sept - Hexham Abbey 3.45pm
  • Tuesday 13th Sept -Wylam Library 4pm
  • Wednesday 14th Sept - Cramlington Library 4pm
  • Thursday 15th Sept - Bedlington Library 4pm
  • Thursday 15th Sept - Morpeth Town Hall 4pm
  • Friday 16th Sept - Rothbury Library 5.30pm
  • Friday 16th Sept - Haydon Bridge Library 4pm
  • Friday 16th Sept - South Beach Library 4pm
  • Friday 16th Sept - St Andrews Church Corbridge 5pm
  • Friday 16th Sept - Guidepost Library 4pm
  • Friday 16th Sept - Amble Library 4pm
  • Saturday 17th Sept - Alnwick Library 11am
  • Monday 19th Sept - Blyth Library 4pm
  • Wednesday 21st Sept - Berwick Maltings Theatre 4pm
  • Wednesday 21st Sept - Seaton Sluice Library 3.30pm
  • Wednesday 21st Sept - Seaton Valley Library 5pm
  • Wednesday 21st Sept - Bedlington Station Library 4pm
  • Wednesday 21st Sept - Newbiggin Library 4pm
  • Thursday 22nd Sept - Ashington Library 4pm
  • Thursday 22nd Sept - Hirst Library 4pm

Summer Reading Challenge Books

There are lots of great books in this year's Summer Reading Challenge collection.  The collection has been split into two groups - books suitable for 4-7 year olds and books suitable for older children aged 8-11 years old.  Roald Dahl's The BFG is featured alongside other great books from authors such as Cressida Cowell, Frank Cottrell Boyce and Michael Rosen to name just a few.  Please note you can read any six library books for the Summer Reading Challenge they do not have to be from the collection.

Take a look below at the full selection and click on the book covers to find them in the library catalogue.  Don't worry if your library does not have the book you want - you can reserve it from another Northumberland library for free and get it sent to your local library.

Younger Collection - Suitable for children 4-7 years old.


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Older Collection - Suitable for children 8-11years old.






Summer Reading Challenge Book Sorter


Not sure what to read next then why not visit the Summer Reading Challenge website and check out the book sorter -  

Summer Reading Challenge Events 2016

There are lots of activities taking place in libraries over the summer. Craft events include making fox masks, wobbly crocodiles, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory door hangers and Mr Twit's beard. There are also author and artist workshops, as part of the popular ‘Spellbound’ programme.  Please contact the individual library to book a free place.

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As well as events happening over the summer in lots of our libraries.  The following libraries will have drop-in colouring sheets and crafts available for children to do during their normal library opening hours:  Corbridge, Bellingham, Kielder, Heddon, Wylam, Ponteland, Amble, Alnwick, Guide Post and Seaton Valley.  

Prudhoe Library Quiz - Win tickets to see The BFG

Prudhoe Library is running a Big Friendly Quiz with the chance to win tickets to see The BFG at The Fuse Cinema, Prudhoe. Drop in to the library to pick up a quiz sheet from Monday 25 July until Saturday 13 August --- the first correct answer pulled out of the box will win.  The winner will be notified by phone on Monday 15 August.  Or you can download a quiz sheet here - Big Friendly Read Quiz PDF Version or  Big Friendly Read Quiz Microsoft Word Version and drop it in to the library.

To find out more information about the event including event times please click on the event title.

Date Place Event Title
25 July Haydon Bridge Library Big Friendly Fun - Crafts & Stories
02 August Lynemouth Library Big Friendly Fun - Crafts & Stories
02 August Rothbury Library Spellbound event with artist Chloe Daykin
02 August Berwick Library Spellbound event with artist Chloe Daykin
03 August Bedlington Station Library Drop In Colouring and Craft sheets
03 August Seaton Sluice Library Big Friendly Fun - Crafts
03 August Ashington Library Create your own Big Friendly Read Book
08 August Blyth Library Big Friendly Fun - Crafts & Stories
09 August Prudhoe Library Spellbound event with Liz Million FULLY BOOKED
09 August Allendale Library Big Friendly Fun - Crafts & Stories
09 August Hexham Library Spellbound event with Liz Million
10 August Haltwhistle Library Big Friendly Fun - Crafts & Stories
10 August Blyth Library Spellbound event with Liz Million
10 August Seaton Sluice Library Spellbound event with Liz Million
11 August Berwick Library  Big Friendly Fun - Crafts & Stories
17 August Prudhoe Library Origami with a Big Friendly Read Theme FULLY BOOKED
17 August Morpeth Library Big Friendly Fun - Crafts & Stories
18 August Bedlington Library Big Friendly Fun - Crafts & Stories
22 August Haydon Bridge Library Big Friendly Fun - Crafts & Stories
24 August Hexham Library Big Friendly Fun - Crafts & Stories
24 August Cramlington Library Big Friendly Fun - Crafts & Stories
25 August Prudhoe Library Big Friendly Fun - Drop In Crafts Afternoon
25 August Wylam Library Big Friendly Fun - Drop In Crafts


Find out more about the Summer Reading Challenge 

Summer Reading Challenge Launch Event - 16 July

Big Friendly Read Launch ‘ Melva Mapletree and the Frothbuggling Forest’ inspired by Roald Dahl

02readlowSaturday 16 July 10.30am till 12.30pm

Join us at Morpeth Town Hall in the Corn Exchange Room for the launch of this year's Summer Reading Challenge. It will be a morning of fun, dressing up and cake inspired by our master storyteller Roald Dahl with a little help from 'Mortal Fools'.

Suitable for children aged 4-11 years & their families. Come dressed as your favourite Roald Dahl character and sign up for the Summer Reading Challenge. The first 25 children that register for this year's Challenge will receive a Roald Dahl goodie bag! There will also be a prize awarded to the child with the most imaginative character costume.

Activities include a performance of Melva Mapletree and the Frothbuggling Forest by Mortal Fools, digital storytelling, potions table, dressing-up box and refreshments.

Melva and the Frothbuggling Forest

Do you ever put your pen to your paper and that big brain of yours gets completely confuzzled and doesn’t let your imagination zoom , zip and run wild? This is called a Brain Bongle- and it happens to the very best of us...

In the dusty depths of Roald Dahl’s peculiarly precious vaults, lies a tattered and torn story. A story left forgotten about, a story left unfinished.

Melva Mapletree is like any other mischievous 6 year old; scattery, stubborn and as sweet as can be! She likes to explore her Grandmothers’ glorumptuos garden- but one day she explored further than the ‘stop’ sign by the tadpole pond and found herself in the middle of the forbidden Frothbugling Forest!

Stuffed with whoopsy wiffling characters, Melva meets The Acorn kids, St Sycamore the 3rd, Fizz Whizz the fox and many more creatures that show her the secrets of her Grandma’s garden. But...just as Melva reaches Wugbeat Waterfall, the story stops, pauses, halts.

Did Roald Dahl suffer a brain bongle? Or did he leave this story unfinished on purpose?

Come along and help Melva and her friends finish this story- I certainly think we need your help!

Summer Reading Challenge Volunteer Drop-In Sessions


Would you like to help younger children read over the summer?

Would you like to get some skills that will be great for your C.V., university application or Duke of Edinburgh Award assessment?

If you are aged between 14 and 25, then why not become your local library Summer Reading Challenge Volunteer?  

Roles available include:

  • To help staff to administer the Challenge
  • To talk to children about the books they’ve been reading.
  • To help children choose new books.
  • To help with summer activities
  • To help to create in-library displays
  • Helping children to use the Summer Reading Challenge website
  • Using activity sheets and other ideas to help children share their reading choices with their peers

Drop-In Sessions

To find out more about what is involved in volunteering drop in sessions are being held in Hexham, Prudhoe, Ashington and Blyth:

  • Hexham Library Monday 27 June at 3.45pm - 5.00pm
  • Ashington Library Wednesday 29 June at 5.15pm - 6.15pm
  • Prudhoe Library Wednesday 29 June at 3.45pm - 5.00pm
  • Blyth Library Thursday 30 June at 3.45pm - 5.00pm

For more infromation please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Photo Credit: 

Photos © Dale Cherry 2016 for The Reading Agency. With thanks to Crawley Library, West Sussex County Council

Celebrate National Bookstart Week with your library!

AHoleInTheBottomOfTheSeaNorthumberland Libraries will be celebrating National Bookstart Week 2016 which runs from 6-12 June with lots of great events.  See below for a full list of all our events.  The theme of this year’s National Bookstart Week is ‘Under the Sea’. Children who attend any of the events will receive a free copy of the picture book A Hole in the Bottom of the Sea by Jessica Law and illustrated by Jill McDonald. The reading charity BookTrust, supported by Barefoot Books, has more than 450,000 copies to give away.


National Bookstart Week is an annual celebration of BookTrust’s flagship reading programme, Bookstart, which gives every child in England and Wales a free reading pack in the first year of their life and again when they are 3-4 years old. The ethos of the charity is to remind families of the importance of reading for fun – even if it’s just for ten minutes a day.


 “Making time to read with your children is so important because shared reading leads to a love of reading. And we know that reading for pleasure has a dramatic impact on life outcomes – and this is as much about confidence and well-being as it is about educational achievements.

“Children who are read to every night start school a year ahead of those who are not and the gap only widens as they get older. Quite simply, children who read for pleasure are happier, healthier and do better in life than those who don't.”

Diana Gerald, Chief Executive of BookTrust

If families are unable to make it along to their local event they can join in the fun at home, with plenty of undersea-themed arts and crafts and games, all on the Bookstart website

Under the Sea Events

Come and join us for special 'Under the Sea' Story and Rhymetimes to celebrate National Bookstart Week at the following libraries listed below.  You don't need to book just turn up!  All events listed are suitable for children under 5 and their carers.

Tuesday 31 May:

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Lynemouth Library at 2pm - 3pm

Tuesday 7 June

Ashington Library at 11am - 11.30am

Cramlington Library at 10am - 11am

Seaton Valley Library at 9.15am - 9.45am

Wednesday 8 June

Hexham Library at 10am - 10.45am

Thursday 9 June

Alnwick Library at 10am - 11am (In partnership with Alnwick Playhouse)

Friday 10 June

Berwick Library (The Swan Centre) at 11am - 1.30am

Blyth Library at 9.30am - 10am

Bedlington Library at 2.15pm - 2.45pm

Monday 13 June

Newbiggin Library at 10am - 11am