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Information for members & visitors

Easing & keeping you safe

We are very pleased to let you know that, while we do remain cautious, we are now in a position to loosen most of the restrictions that we have had to impose on our service to you and the wider world since 20 March 2020.

From Monday 19 July, advance booking to use the library will no longer be required, but members and visitors must sign in on arrival or use the NHS QR code with their NHS Covid-19 App. From this date we will also allow members of the public to visit once again.

Staff will continue to wear face coverings and although we cannot enforce this, members and visitors will be requested to wear these whilst in the building.

Some additional seating will be available in the main library and the committee room, but not to full capacity so that some social distancing can be maintained.

The one way system will be removed and the children’s library put back in position. Hand sanitising stations will remain indefinitely, and the cleaning regime throughout the day will continue.

Our opening hours will remain the same but will be reviewed by the beginning of September. The library’s opening hours are:

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 10am-4pm.
Wednesday 10am-7pm.
Saturdays 10am -1pm (August 7 and 21 only).

We anticipate that the hatch will reopen in September but in the meantime the self-service coffee/tea machine is available.

Our live events programme will be gradually re-established, and we're looking forward to an autumn of lectures, concerts, tours and other events to celebrate our reopening, although audience numbers may be limited. Our Zoom talks and readings have proved very popular and we will continue to offer online activities in the future.

Please check our events page for details of what is coming up. Most events are free but if you are able to do so, please do donate what you can to help us continue our valuable educational work. Recordings are also available on our YouTube Channel.

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

Please be assured that our aim is to keep staff, members and visitors as safe as possible, whether browsing in the library, reading at tables or attending events.  We will therefore keep all our activities under close review.

I would like to thank you on behalf of the Board and the staff for your patience and loyalty over the last 16 months or so. We all look forward to seeing more members and visitors in the library very soon.

Kay Easson

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).  

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!


comic drawing of lots of girls

What's on

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

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Visit us

From 19 July '21, when we reopen fully to the public, there's no entry fee and we are open six days a week, often until late.  We've 200,000 books, 20,000 CDs & LPs, tea & coffee!  Come in & unwind (soon!) in a magical & beautiful place...

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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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