Children's poet and author Joseph Coelho visits Altrincham on a library joining marathon

 Joseph Coelho2

An award-winning children’s poet and author who set himself the challenge of joining a library in every Library Authority in the UK has visited Altrincham.

Joseph Coelho, who is on a quest to celebrate the inclusive, vital role libraries play in our lives, visited Altrincham Library on 25 November. As part of his ‘Library Marathon’ Joseph is visiting a library in each authority to join and receive his library card.

He is plotting his progress on a giant library marathon map on his website at 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, illustrated by Fiona Lumbers and published by Andersen Press, celebrates his love for libraries and his own childhood spent in libraries:

He 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.”

Sarah Curran, Head of Customer Service at Trafford Council, said:

We warmly welcomed Joseph and issued him with a Trafford libraries card. His quest is an amazing way to promote the use of libraries – something we are keen to do in Trafford. We are proud that we have opened two new libraries in the last two years  – with two more in the pipeline – and we were the first UK borough to abolish fines to ensure our libraries are accessible to all.”

The Library Marathon is being undertaken with the support of CILIP and Libraries Connected. There are around 3,600 public libraries across every part of the UK, serving more than 200m physical visits a year and over 90m 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.

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."

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, said:

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"

Posted on Friday 29th November 2019