Children’s poet and author Joseph Coelho visited Storyhouse in Chester recently as part of his library-joining marathon.
Joseph set himself the challenge of joining a library in every library authority district in the UK in a quest to celebrate the inclusive, vital role libraries play in our lives.
He is hoping to encourage as many people as possible to #JoinYourLibrary.
As part of his library marathon, Joseph will physically visit at least one library in each local authority area to join and receive his library card.
He has plotted his progress via a map on his website and is tweeting and blogging his journey around the UK.
Joseph has long been a passionate and vociferous supporter of libraries in the UK.
His debut picture book, Luna Loves Library Day, celebrates his love for libraries and his own childhood spent in libraries.
Joseph said: “It was in my local library where I studied for exams with friends, browsed books about beach combing and imagined living by the sea, bought second-hand encyclopedias that I’d otherwise never own and where I had my first Saturday job.
“It was in my library that I got to know and connect with my local community, where I read, studied and wrote.”
Council leader and cabinet member for communities and wellbeing, Cllr Louise Gittins said: “We were delighted to welcome Joseph to Storyhouse on his library marathon and present him with a Cheshire West and Chester library card.
“His tour is a wonderful way of celebrating the vital role of libraries at the heart of communities across the borough.”
Cllr Gittins added: “I’m looking forward to celebrating Libraries Week in October, when our libraries will be hosting a range of activities and events.”
There are around 3,600 public libraries across the UK, serving more than 200 million physical visits each year and over 90 million online.
Libraries have a more diverse audience than any other arts/culture sector with the demographic most strongly correlated with library use being 15-24 year olds.
Image: Joseph Coelho is presented with his library card by Storyhouse library volunteer Jolyne Thomas