A week dedicated to showcasing how ‘Libraries Change Lives’ is happening in Northumberland.

Not just about being one of the first to get new bestsellers or weekly book club meetups, libraries now function as the heart of communities across the county.

They're actively reaching out to the community well beyond the library walls.

Library service manager, Alison Peaden, said: "The campaign is built on community needs, addressing social issues such as isolation, literacy, business needs, mental health and inclusivity - and is changing lives in very real ways.

“We change lives by offering a personalised service and caring for our community.

"For example, one of our mobile library drivers, noticed one of his regulars didn’t attend.

"So, he popped along to check on her, found her unconscious and arranged medical care."

The libraries also provide necessary support to entrepreneurs in the area like Maggie Reid.

Ms Reid, who manages a handmade jewellery business, has access to Business and IP Support North East (BIPC) via Berwick Library.

BIPC is also available to speak to in Hexham and Morpeth libraries.

Considered as community hubs, the libraries cater to various demographics through tailored services.

Ms Peaden said: "By offering a range of services tailored to different demographics, Northumberland Library Service aims to create a more educated, connected and resilient community.

“Libraries host events and activities that bring people together, such as cultural festivals, author talks, and craft workshops."

At Bellingham Library, a local drama group facilitated a workshop that helped mitigate loneliness.

Now it is collaborating with Theatre Sans Frontières for a production called ‘Century of Stories’, marking the service's 100th anniversary through shows during autumn.

Ms Peaden said: “Our service can help those who feel lonely, isolated or just bored tap into a hobby or skill they didn’t know they had, and meet and talk to people, fostering a brighter, more connected community for all.”

Northumberland Library Service is open to all residents free of charge.