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Stacks on offer for visitors to library

HOUSE HISTORY ... local history group member Peter Dutton, watched by Tyne and Wear archivist Alan Hayward and Coun Fay Cunningham of the Trace the History of your House event.

HOUSE HISTORY ... local history group member Peter Dutton, watched by Tyne and Wear archivist Alan Hayward and Coun Fay Cunningham of the Trace the History of your House event.

THE turning of a page took centre stage as literature lovers in South Tyneside booked in to celebrate National Libraries Day.

The golden rule of silence was even broken for the special occasion as young and old packed into Central Library, in South Shields, for a series of educating and entertaining events.

But it wasn’t just the love of a good book that was on display – as visitors deloved into history, explored nature, opened their ears to music, sat down for a film showing and left their mark at a forensic workshop.

The day aimed to highlight the host of activities available at libraries across the borough.

Events held on Saturday at the library in Prince Georg Square, included Piccolo Music – an interactive music session for babies and toddlers – and many made a bee-line to Buzz on the Tyne, where residents were able to learn about bees and how they protect their natural habitat.

Alan Hayward, an archovist from Tyne and Wear Museums led Tracing the History of your House, which offered an eye-opening insight into how to research the past of your property.

Local forensics expert Ian Gillard hosted a fun family workshop, with people able to take home their own set of fingerprints. Other libraries in the borough, including Cleadon Park, Jarrow, Hebburn and East Boldon, were also open during their usual Saturday hours to help mark the national event.

Even before Saturday, there was lots to whet the appetite, including a visit to Jarrow School by Melvin Burgess, an acclaimed author of young adult fiction.

Melvin was accompanied to the school by Coun Alan Kerr, lead member for culture and leisure for South Tyneside Council.

Coun Kerr says National Libraries Day is a vital way to recognise the role libraries play in the community.

He said: “Over the years, libraries have become a corner stone of society, where people look forward to meeting friends and associates; and a place people treasure and respect.

“It’s also refreshing to see big-name authors like Melvin Burgess taking time out of their busy schedules to meet young people to get them enthused about reading and writing books.”

Coun Fay Cunningham added: “I have had a love of books and reading from a very early age and I think our libraries provide not only written information and access to a digital world that supports study, but books of every kind and for all ages.

“They stimulate the imagination and give so much relaxation and pleasure.”

For more information about South Tyneside Libraries Service, call 424 7864 or e-mail library.support@southtyneside.gov.uk

Twitter@shieldsgazchris

 

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