Baby Bounce, reading groups and other library activities return to The Word and South Shields, Jarrow and Hebburn libraries

Library activities have been starting up again as the next chapter begins in the recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

Monday, 24th May 2021, 12:52 pm
The Word in South Shields is ready to welcome groups back

Some face-to-face social activities in library buildings returned on May 17 in line with the roadmap reopening date, and others are set to start in early June.

Libraries were only able to offer a limited book service and virtual activities and events from its libraries at The Word, Cleadon Park Primary Care Centre, Jarrow Focus and Hebburn Central during national restrictions.

Now restrictions on indoor activities have been further lifted in line with Step 3 in the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown, some reading, craft and baby groups are making a return to library buildings – though people wishing to attend are asked to book in advance.

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Hebburn Central.

Baby Bounce sessions give parents and guardians the opportunity to share in a love of books with their babies (up to 13 months), enjoy singing and stories and borrow books to read at home.

These are now running:

Mondays from 2.30pm to 3pm at Cleadon Park Library (0191 424 6194)

Tuesdays from 10.30am to 11am at Jarrow Focus Library (0191 7786)

Tuesdays from 10.30am to 11am at The Word (0191 427 1818)

Fridays from 10.30am to 11am at Hebburn Central (0191 7831)

South Tyneside reading groups encourage informal discussions among book lovers.

These are returning from as follows:

The Word:

Tuesday, June 1 at 1.45pm

Saturday, June 12 at 11am

Hebburn Library:

Wednesday, June 1 at 1.30pm

Thursday, June 2 at 10am

Jarrow Library:

Thursday, June 24 at 1.30pm

Cleadon Park Library

Thursday, July 1 and 8 at 6pm

The final South Tyneside Libraries Zoom Reading Group will be held on Tuesday June 1.

Councillor Joan Atkinson, deputy Leader of South Tyneside Council with responsibility for Culture and Leisure, said: “Our libraries provide so much more than a book borrowing service – they are a lifeline in our communities for so many people.

“Under normal circumstances, they offer a rich and varied programme of social and community activities, giving people a wonderful opportunity to meet others and share in a love of books, reading, crafts, history and much more.

“While our libraries have continued to provide a limited service during the lockdown period, we are delighted to be able to reintroduce some of our groups back into buildings to enjoy face-to-face social activities in a safe way, particularly after such a long period of only online events. We know they have been missed.

“Getting our libraries back to how they were is a slow and steady process as we continue to operate a phased recovery in line with the restrictions.

"Therefore, it is important to remember measures will remain in place in our libraries to support the Government guidance around Hands, Face and Space.

"With numbers remaining limited, it is essential that people reserve their places in advance and don’t just turn up.

“We also appreciate that some of our residents may not feel ready to return to library buildings just yet, which is why some of our reading groups will continue to run online.”

Anyone interested in attending the reading groups can book a place by contacting Pauline Martin on 0191 424 7805.

Alternatively, people can call Jarrow Library on 0191 489 7786 and leave a message.

Those who take part library craft groups or want to join in are advised to contact the library they would normally attend for details of returning groups and the sessions available.

Book services:

Libraries continue to run a book ‘click-and-collect’ service as well as reserved access to public computers and time-limited browsing of selected shelves. However, still on a strict appointment-only basis.

The Home Readers Library Service continues to operate as normal.

Library users can also continue to access the range of online library services including the complete collection of eBooks in South Tyneside’s Digital Library

The Digital Library offers 24-hour access to hundreds of ebooks, eAudiobooks and online magazines – all free to download onto computers, eReaders, smart phone or tablets.

Library members just need a valid library membership and pin number.

Those not already registered as library users, can sign up online and begin accessing the online services straightaway.

:: For further details about South Tyneside Libraries, memberships and the full range of facilities and activities available, visit or follow on social media: Facebook southtynesidelibraries and STynesideCouncil and on Twitter @SouthTyneLibs and @STyne_Council