Award Winning Author joins UK Library Marathon in Blackpool

Award Winning Author joins UK Library Marathon in Blackpool

Children’s poet and author Joseph Coelho, the Award Winning Author, joins UK Library Marathon in Blackpool. The visit the Mereside Library is part of his countrywide ‘Library joining marathon’.

Joseph has set himself the challenge of joining a library in every Library Authority in the UK in a quest to celebrate the inclusive, vital role libraries play in our lives and to encourage as many people as possible to #JoinYourLibrary.

The poet and author has been a passionate supporter of libraries in the UK for many years. His debut picture book, Luna Loves Library Day, illustrated by Fiona Lumbers celebrated his love of libraries since childhood.

Award Winning Author joins UK Library Marathon in Blackpool

Since May 2019 Joseph’s challenge has been to join over 200 libraries to show how incredible these spaces are. The latest stage of that mission will see him set off this month in his campervan to join 70 libraries in 20 days.

As part of his journey he will be visiting Mereside Library at 10.15am Saturday 24 August when he will be presented with a special Blackpool Libraries goodie bag along with his new library card.

He commented: “It was in my local library where I studied for exams with friends, browsed books about beachcombing, imagined living by the sea and bought second-hand encyclopaedias 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.”

Joseph will plot his progress on a giant library marathon map on his website at, tweeting and blogging his journey around the UK.

Cllr Gillian Campbell, Blackpool Council Deputy Leader, said: “We are delighted that Joseph will be coming to Mereside Library. He has a real passion for libraries and appreciates the important role that they play in the community. And, of course, if he’s late returning any books he borrows from Mereside he won’t be fined, since we have removed all overdue charges for books since April!

Enjoy your local library

“If you say the word ‘library’ many people will think of printed books and that’s true. However, over the years Blackpool’s libraries have become so much more. They are vibrant and sociable places hosting leisure and interest clubs for all ages, access to learning resources and advice sessions as well as offering a wide range of digital E-books and audiobooks. I hope that Joseph’s visit will encourage more people to join for free their local library.”

The Library Marathon will be undertaken with the support of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) and Libraries Connected with special activities being planned for Libraries Week, which runs from 7 – 12 October with the theme Celebrating Libraries in a Digital World.

Nick Poole, Chief Executive CILIP said: ‘What a marvellous way to celebrate and promote libraries. We are delighted to support Joseph in his library quest that showcases the important role of libraries in so many people’s stories.

“As an avid library supporter and advocate Joseph demonstrates the joy the library can bring and we will be watching and supporting his journey with enthusiasm. We look forward to celebrating with Joseph and libraries across the country during Libraries Week this October.”

Libraries Connected have been instrumental in connecting Joseph with individual Library Authorities, and facilitating his mammoth marathon across the UK.

Mark Freeman, Libraries Connected President, commented: “Joseph is a wonderful supporter of libraries and we couldn’t be more excited to support his libraries marathon. We’ve had a wonderful response from libraries across the country offering to host Joseph on his quest and we are delighted that he will again be able to highlight all the wonderful activities that happen in libraries.”

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