On 23 April, Newcastle Libraries celebrated World Book Night in style. This was a chance for us to share the joy of reading, both inside and outside of the library. Over one hundred staff and customers applied to be book givers, and we distributed a staggering 2400 FREE books across the city, double what we did last year.
As it was the date of Shakespeare’s birth (and death) we decided to kick start the programme with a book swap at the Theatre Royal while the unveiling of their statue ‘Mercutio’ took place. A total of one hundredbooks were given out within an hour!
Library staff, teenage ‘My Voice’ volunteers, members of our children’s reading group and our local councillor distributed books across the city centre, in coffee shops, bars and the Tyneside Cinema.
The celebration continued with a performance from Silver Linings which got the audience to dancing and singing in the atrium. The atmosphere was already buzzing when we welcomed our fabulous visiting author Adele Parks, who was excited to be involved with World Book Night, and did a fantastic ‘meet the author’ session. The audience were gripped with tales of Adele’s life and the inspiration behind her novels which included her latest title ‘About Last Night’. Our ‘My Voice’ volunteers excitedly interviewed Adele without any hesitation. Listen to this interview below.
We also involved talented local actors ‘Spectrum Arts’ who spent their Sunday mornings rehearsing intensely for ‘Shakespeare’s Greatest Hits’. Customers followed the group around the building enthralled in the scenes and costumes.
We were fortunate to be one of several satellite venues to live stream a World Book Night event from Queen Elizabeth Hall on London’s Southbank where top authors helped spread the message of how empowering reading can be.
If you would like to be part of World Book Night 2013 register your details. From personal experience, this is a chance not to be missed!
Reading and Learning Service Manager