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Three libraries to be transferred to volunteers

Posted on Monday 10 July 2017

Volunteer groups are ready to take over the running of three Gateshead libraries which will take the number of volunteer-run libraries in the borough up to seven.

Libraries in Felling, Rowlands Gill and Whickham re-open today as completely volunteer-run libraries, ceasing to be part of the council operated network.

Gateshead Council agreed earlier this year to hand over the running of three of the Council’s libraries to volunteers in order to achieve budget savings, following a major public consultation exercise.

Cabinet Member for Culture, Sport and Leisure, Councillor John McElroy, said: “We have a library service that the public greatly value, but as we continue to face savage cuts in government funding we’ve had to look at the whole library network. The Council continues to really value employees who deliver the professional library service, but we need to find a way for these libraries to continue to offer a service to local residents, even with reduced input from the Council.

“We are delighted that the local communities have responded in such a positive way and we’re grateful for the enthusiasm of all of our library volunteers who make an invaluable contribution to the borough. We will continue to invest £2.4m in libraries and residents can still access a wide range of digital services including e-books, e-magazines, e-audio books and the library app.”

The three new volunteer-run libraries will operate differently to the Council operated libraries and residents will need to have a separate library ticket.

The libraries will be open as follows:

Felling Library

Monday 9am – 6pm

Tuesday & Thursday 9am – 5pm

Friday 9am – 4pm

Wednesday & Saturday closed


Rowlands Gill Library

Monday, Tuesday 9am – 5pm

Wednesday, Thursday & Saturday 9am – 1pm

Friday closed


Whickham Library

Monday & Thursday 9am – 7pm

Tuesday & Wednesday 9am – 5pm

Friday & Saturday 9am – 1pm