National Libraries Day Comes to Jesmond

Michael Chaplin shows the audience an old photo of the library

Michael Chaplin shows the audience an old photo of the library. Photo by David Whinham

Jesmond Library hosted an event for National Libraries Day on Saturday 9th February, highlighting concerns over its future.

Organised by the Save the Libraries campaign, the event showcased pieces of work from the area including poetry and other works of literature.

Hosting the event was writer and former television executive and producer Michael Chaplin. He told JesmondLocal: “It is a good opportunity to support libraries, Jesmond Library in particular.”

Chaplin added that the event aimed to provide entertainment through the work of Jesmond’s writers and books.

Newcastle City Council’s Tony Durcan shared his thoughts with JesmondLocal on the impact closing the library would have on the community.

“It would be hard felt by those who find it hard to go to another library, not those who choose not to, but those who otherwise find it difficult to travel.”

Durcan said young families and older people would suffer most from closure, adding: “We would still have a great library service in Newcastle, great modern libraries, but there is not enough money to keep all open”.

Chaplin agreed that young families, children and the elderly would be most affected by the closure.

“Libraries are a great way of promoting interest and developing potential of people in general but those groups in particular.”

The Save the Libraries campaign is a nationwide group aimed at preventing the closure of local libraries. Save Newcastle Libraries was formed in 2012 in response to the planned closure of public libraries across the city, as part of a £90 million raft of cuts to the council’s budget.

Chaplin was joined by actors Joe Caffrey and Philippa Wilson who read some pieces of literature. Poet Catherine Graham also shared local stories and poetry with the audience at Jesmond Library.

Have a look at our Flickr slideshow of the event below, with photos by David Whinham.

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