Sunderland Libraries mark National Libraries Day by launching new application and showing rare collection

Library

An app, which allows people to access library services 24/7, is being launched by Sunderland libraries ahead of National Libraries Day next week.

Its launch is part of the celebrations for this year’s National Libraries Day on February 6.

The Sunderland Libraries app is designed to help people use libraries easier by letting them find a title and reserve, borrow or renew a book straight from their mobile.

It also allows people to scan the barcode on any book, anywhere and check whether the library has it in stock, as well as carrying information about library opening hours.

The app is available on both Apple and Android platforms.

Councillor John Kelly, Portfolio Holder for Public Health, Wellness and Culture, said: “National Libraries Day is all about celebrating some of the fantastic work that goes on in our libraries.

“We hope people will take the time to download the app and take this rare opportunity to see the Mason Collection. We also have activities for families on too.”

Sunderland City Library and Arts Centre is also marking National Libraries Day by displaying a rare collection of maritime history which has not been on show previously.

The Mason Collection was donated to Sunderland Libraries by the widow of Bob Mason, a Huddersfield engineer, with North East connections who had a lifetime interest in ships and the sea.

He amassed a large amount of material, a selection of which will be on display, including documentation from the White Star Line and Cunard Lines and other individual memorabilia.

Coun John Kelly, Portfolio Holder for Public Health, Wellness and Culture added: “Although the Mason Collection is available for public viewing on request, we don’t have room to display the collection on a permanent basis so most of it has never been on show before.

“It consists of more than 2000 books, many of them rare and mostly out of print and a number of documents including blueprints, small personal drawing books and documentation from various White Star and Cunard lines.

“We’ve been told by a former member of staff at the National Maritime Museum that it really is quite unique in its nature so we’re hoping it will prove popular on the day.”

The Mason Collection is on show in the Meeting Room at the City Library and Arts Centre between 11am and 2pm.

Other activities on February 6 for National Libraries Day include: Celebrate with Cinderella at the City Library and Family Storysack session at Washington Town Centre Library.

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