Library services for children and young people


Bookstart gifts free packs of books to children in the UK to:

  • inspire and create a love of reading
  • give them flying start in life
  • show that books are fun

Bookstart Baby Bag

Bookstart Baby Bags are gifted by Health Visitors as part of the baby's 6 to 8 weeks old health check.

For more information about what's included, see BookTrust: Free Bookstart packs and dual-language books.

Early Years activities

South Tyneside Libraries offer Early Years activities for children aged 5 and under, including:

  • Baby bounce
    For babies from birth to the time when they start to become mobile (crawling, standing, walking with assistance and walking independently). Theses sessions include gentle finger, knee bouncing action rhymes.
  • Bounce and wobblies
    For babies up to 1 year old who are mobile (crawling, standing, walking with assistance and walking independently). These sessions include action songs and rhymes.
  • Wobblies and wigglies
    'For children aged 1 to 2 years. These sessions include action songs and rhymes for this age range.
  • Jiggle and wiggle
    For children aged 2 to 3 years. These sessions include action rhymes and songs for this age range.
  • Peek a book
    For children aged 3 to 4 years. These sessions include stories, songs and games to support children's development ready for school.

All sessions are free and are drop-in.

Spaces are available on a first come basis.

More information

For further information about Bookstart please see BookTrust.


Nursery or school visits

All our libraries offer schools the opportunity to arrange class visits, for library skills or a story telling session.

Arrange a visit

For more information and to arrange a visit, contact:

  • Jolene Dunbar on 0191 424 7866 for Key Stage 1 and 2
  • Pauline Martin on 0191 424 7805 for Key Stage 3 and 4

Arts Award for young people

South Tyneside Libraries now deliver the nationally recognised Arts Award for young people aged between 11 and 25. The Arts Award offers a range of qualifications enabling participants to grow as artists and arts leaders.

The Arts Award was created with the hope of inspiring others to connect with and take part in the wider arts world through challenges in art form as well as offering a framework for learning new skills and an opportunity to develop creativity and leadership.

We can provide Arts Awards at 3 different levels:

  • discover
  • explore
  • bronze

As the award is literacy based individuals will get the opportunity to research their favourite authors and discover more about writers and books.

Each individual award takes a different amount of time designed with the sole purpose of fitting around participants' other commitments, with no time limit for completing the award due to the fact it is an ongoing event.

Participants will take part in a variety of different arts activities as well as gaining inspiration from artists and arts organisations, not only that but you will also be required to experience arts events and share these experiences and skills with others.

For more information on how to apply please see, Arts award or contact Pauline Martin on 0191 428 2318 or email

Reading Activists

Reading Activists is a programme for 14 to 24 year olds, which aims to encourage more young people to take an active role in their local libraries.

In South Tyneside our Reading Activists have been involved in planning and delivering a rock night at Hebburn Library, a Hobbit Games Workshop, and Minecraft sessions at Central Library. They volunteer their time to help with selecting books for our libraries, and with lots of different events across the Borough.

Join Reading Activists today

  • Are you aged 14 to 24 years?
  • Looking for something fun, exciting and creative to do in your local community?
  • Want to meet other young people to make a difference?
  • Interested in putting on events for young people?
  • Want to learn new skills and get work experience?
  • Want to meet writers, musicians, artists and other creative people?

To get involved contact Pauline Martin on 0191 428 2318 or email

For more information visit The Reading Agency.

Benefits of joining the library

  • You're never too young to join South Tyneside Libraries.
  • All our libraries have books and computers available for children to use free of charge.
  • Children and young people aged under 16 do not pay fines, and can reserve books free of charge.
  • During school holidays libraries host a variety of family activities, including Lego days.
  • Early Years sessions for children from birth to 4 years including: Baby Bounce, Bounce and Wobblies, Wobblies and Wigglies, Jiggle and Wiggle and Peek-a-Book

For more information about joining South Tyneside Libraries, see Join the library.