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Library Services

There are three Libraries that deliver core library services:

  • City Library @ Museum & Winter Gardens (including Local Studies Library and Public Access ICT)
  • Houghton Library & Customer Service Centre
  • Washington Town Centre Library & Customer Service Centre

Schools Library Service which operates to schools in the area as a traded service

Static Libraries

All static libraries are happy to deliver basic library instruction, story/rhyme times and craft activities to schools throughout the academic year. Special events are held at various times of the year, for example, World Book Day and National Shakespeare Week in March, the Summer Reading Challenge in July and August and Sunderland Libraries Literature Festival in October.

Within static libraries front-line employees deal with a broad range of reading, local history and information enquiries that require different levels of support, investigation and interpretation.

Library opportunities include:

  • Free Public Access PC's and tablets are available to use in all libraries. Parental permissions are required
  • Free Wi-Fi is available in all libraries. Log-in details are available from library staff
  • Free e-books and e-audiobooks are available to borrow from BorrowBox, and free e-magazines are available from RBdigital, both of these services can be accessed from most devices at To access the full range of services and to borrow items users will need to log in using their library membership number and PIN
  • A free interactive Library App is available which allows users to renew their checked-out items, to place reservations on books and to browse our catalogue and upcoming events
  • Wind the Bobbin, our free interactive nursery rhyme app is also available to download, with videos, songs and an area to create and record your own nursery rhymes
  • All apps are free to download from the App Store and Android Market
  • Free subscription to a fun, interactive reading website aimed at children aged 4-11, with stories, phonics and games. Users only need a library membership number to log-in from home or school. Library staff can come out to your school to demonstrate to staff if required, please telephone 0191 561 8866
  • Free subscription to Access to Research. This must be accessed from a library public access PC and allows users to browse academic journals and articles for study
  • Free access to Find My Past, enables users to find their personal family history and search records
  • It is strongly recommended that all children and young people of school age should have their own library membership card
  • Regular Reading groups meet in a broad range of venues
  • The National Summer Reading Challenge encourages children aged 4-11 to maintain their reading confidence and skills though out the summer holidays. The theme for 2019 will be 'Space Chase'

Sunderland Schools Library Service

Sunderland Schools Library Service gives specialist advice and support to schools, school libraries and librarians across all key stages. Through the loan of books and resources teachers are able to enhance the curriculum and teaching experience and also encourage reading for pleasure.

By subscribing to our service, schools can borrow a variety of up-to-date materials for use by teachers to plan and support lessons or to encourage reading for pleasure. All members of staff at a subscribing school can use the Schools Library Service online catalogue which can be viewed at:

Friendly professional staff can advise schools on the latest books and offer bespoke collection loans covering all topics across the national curriculum for all key stages. To ensure the collections continue to be relevant all stock is refreshed regularly and new stock is added throughout the year.

Subscribed members will see a substantial return for their membership with access to a greater range of new books and resources, more than any individual school budget may allow.

All members of staff at a subscribing school can use the Schools Library Service and are welcome to visit during operational hours. For an informal chat about prices please contact Schools Library Service on the details below:

If you would like more information please visit or where contact details are available.

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