Final preparations are being made this week to hand over the running of five Gateshead libraries to groups of local volunteers.
The libraries - at Low Fell, Lobley Hill, Ryton, Sunderland Road
and Winlaton – ceased to be run by Gateshead Council on 29 June and are expected to re-open as completely volunteer-run libraries during the week beginning Monday 8 July.
Earlier this year, Gateshead Council took the decision to hand over the running of five of the Council’s libraries to groups of volunteers as a way of achieving budget savings without having to close any libraries.
Five groups of volunteers were recruited and they have been working closely with Gateshead Council throughout the Spring to ‘learn the ropes’.
Gateshead Council will support the community groups that will run the libraries by covering buildings costs and the purchase of new books. The volunteer groups will also get a range of support from GVOC (Gateshead Voluntary Organisations Council) to help the groups develop and help with the coordination of volunteers.
The five volunteer-run libraries will operate differently to Council-operated libraries, with customers having a separate library ticket. The Council has already written to local residents who already use the five libraries to explain how the change will work.
Although volunteer groups are now establishing themselves in each library, they are keen to recruit more people to help. If you would like to become a volunteer, please speak to one of the volunteers at one of the five libraries.
The libraries will be open as follows:
Lobley Hill – re-opens Thursday 11 July
Tuesday 10.00am - 4.00pm
Thursday 10.00am - 4.00pm
Low Fell – re-opens Monday 8 July
Tuesday, Thursday and Friday: 9.30-5.00
Ryton – re-opens Thursday 11 July
Monday: 9am to 5.00pm
Thursday: 9am to 1.30pm
Saturday: 9am to 1pm
Sunderland Road – re-opens Tuesday 9 July
Monday and Thursday: 9.30-5.00pm
Tuesday and Friday: 9.30-1.00pm
Wednesday and Saturday: closed
Winlaton – re-opens Monday 8 July
Monday: 9.30 - 7.00
Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday: 9.30 - 1.00
Friday: 9.30 – 5.00pm