NEWS: Virtual Library @ The Lit & Phil | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Before the unprecedented situation that caused the country to go into lockdown occurred, The Lit & Phil hadn’t closed its doors to the public in a whopping 227 years. But although the building became physically inaccessible, the crisis paved the way for a new way of interacting with the Newcastle institution. Moving into the digital sphere, a ‘virtual Lit & Phil’ was set into motion, ensuring that its many members could still access its services and continue to be a part of the community.

So far, the move into a virtual space has born a new blog on their website, which has featured both factual and fictional articles exploring the Society’s historical figures, scientists and visionaries. Previously unpublished works from local authors are also featured, as are submissions from the area’s writers, artists, professors and poets. Public engagement was also put centre stage during a recent haiku competition, which saw 450 entries judged by two local poets.

As lockdown begins to ease for a variety of businesses, The Lit & Phil are planning a very gradual reopening from July to pick up and drop off books. The digital space will continue to be open even as we slowly return to physical spaces though, with the library planning to continue its postal and delivery scheme, and a short story competition in the near future. Despite challenging times, The Lit & Phil continues to serve its members and the public in new and captivating ways.

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