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Coronavirus/covid 19

We are pleased to confirm that the Lit & Phil is now open again to members.

During this initial reopening period, members must book their visit in advance, whether it is to browse and borrow books/CDs, or just to return or collect pre-ordered items. To book a slot please telephone  0191 232 0192 or 07971956185 (mobile in use this week only) or email:

Members may book up to 2 one hour slots per day up to 3 times per week on different days.

As well as the Main Library, the Music/Committee Room may be used on request. During this first reopening period, the Silence/Reference Room may not  be used by members.

From Monday 12th  April the library's opening hours will be:

Mon, Tues, Thurs and Fri   10am - 12 noon, 1pm -  4pm
Wednesdays 10am-12 noon, 1pm-4pm, 5pm -7pm
Saturday opening will commence in May: 8th and 22nd 10am -1pm

We will continue to have social distancing measures in place, such as limited seating and the maintaining  of a one-way system around the library. Face  coverings must be worn in the building and the hand sanitisers available in the library should be used.

Members may request our  home delivery/collection service, run by volunteers, or that books are sent by post."

The Lit & Phil team

Please be reassured of the following:

We have relaxed all our loan periods, and do not feel you need to post books back to us. Do hold onto them as long as you need to while this situation is upon us (and as you already know we never charge fines).  

All books and CDs we are coming into contact with now and over the coming weeks will be quarantined for 72 hours.

We are committed to working through this together in the most responsible and compassionate way we can, just as you would expect us to.  While uncertainty abounds, please know that our commitment and loyalty to you, our valued members, visitors and supporters remains as steadfast as ever.

Take care, stay strong and keep reading!


The Lit & Phil’s Annual General Meeting took place on Wednesday 14 October 2020, 6pm in the Lecture Room of the Lit & Phil. 

There were 18 nominations for five vacancies on the Board, and the following Members received the highest number of votes and were elected:

Judy Carrick
Mary Durkin
Paul Gailiunas
Pat Lowery
Claire Morley

A new section detailing the Board, its role, Members (and their biographies) coming to the website soon.

comic drawing of lots of girls

What's on

Comedy, concerts, jazz, talks & readings, classes & workshops, storytelling, lectures, author events, poetry & theatre...

Cup of black tea and open book blue background

Visit us

Sadly, we are closed for the moment, but when we do reopen there's no entry fee and are open six days a week, often until late.  We've 200,000 books, 20,000 CDs & LPs, tea, coffee and cake!  Come in & unwind in a magical & beautiful place...

pile of books

The Catalogue

Have we got that book you've been searching for?  Almost certainly.
From 18th century volumes to the current top bestsellers & so much more...

Oil painting of Robert Spence Watson

Our illustrious past

Our beautiful neoclassical building is a short walk from Newcastle Central Station. Since 1793, it's hosted lots of very important folk doing very exciting scientific things... 

The benefits of membership

Why not become a member?

The Lit & Phil is free and open to all, but if you would like to support us by becoming a Member, you can:

Take home from over 200,000 books & CDs, no fines for overdue books, very generous loan periods, exclusive Members' Only events, priority booking, access to secret rooms, free WIFI, our Member's Magazine posted to you as well as regular news and offers.

We offer a variety of Membership packages to suit all ages and interests, starting from £12 per year.

​To buy or find out more click here
Alternatively you can call us on: 0191 232 0192, or email us and we'll call you back.


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