Celebrations at the double for readers

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BOOK-lovers have double reason to celebrate this weekend.

To mark National Libraries Day, North Tyneside Council is holding an amnesty on fines on Saturday.

Any overdue items – books, DVDs, CDs and audio-books – can be returned to any of the borough’s libraries without the usual financial penalties.

Glynis Barrie, the council’s cabinet member for leisure and culture, said: “Occasionally, residents will inadvertently forget to return a book and then worry about having to pay the fine.

“This amnesty is an opportunity for people to return them free of charge, meaning other residents will benefit as more titles become available.”

“Last year, borough libraries took around £620 a week in fines.”

Coun Barrie, of Preston in North Shields, added: “Residents who have stopped using their local library may not know about a number of improvements, such as online reference resources, downloadable audio-books and reserving and renewing items.”

The day is also being marked by a celebration at a library saved from the threat of closure.

Monkseaton Library has been given a reprieve by the council, as reported in last week’s News Guardian, and to celebrate its survival, Bygate Women’s Institute has lined up a day of activities for families.

A puppet show, storytelling sessions, craft workshops will be held between 10am and 12.30pm and 2pm and 3.30pm.

For more information, contact the Woodleigh Road library on (0191) 643 2072.