The Kittiwake Trust

Multilingual Library

our patron

After the library had

been running a few months,

we approached

Professor David Crystal,

author of over a hundred books on language, to ask if he

would be our Patron.

He agreed enthusiastically.

He visited the library in April 2016 and gave a talk that is available here

We are indebted to Professor Crystal for his continuing support and advice.

His website is here

the kittiwake trust

The Multilingual Library is a project of the Kittiwake Trust,  registered charity 1165318.

You can find more information about the Trust and the Trustees here










our philosophy

There is no such thing as a foreign language, just languages you don't understand.

Words are vitally important.

We never say 'asylum seekers' -

If they need defining further than human beings or refugees we use

the term 'asylum applicants'.

Feel the difference.

Words like 'diversity' suggest the opposite.

We are all notes in a melody that resounds around the globe.



Open again

It is wonderful to have the library open again in what was once The Gloucester pub in Gateshead.

We are gettting such positive comments and making some really useful contacts with other local groups.

We have more than 100 new members, some people renewing their memberships and books being returned - one from 2017!

We have a community space where people can sit and read or study, or play chess, dominoes, draughts, Go, MahJongh

or do jigsaw puzzles. - OR.... sit and talk and make new friends.

We will have a celebration in the spring.

In the meantime we are registering as a Warm Space. News to come shortly.


To find us, look for the Kittiwake Trust Multilingual Library Gateshead on Google maps -

they finally have the pin in the right building!


You can keep up to date on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter

(or whatever it's called this week - but look for the Borderline Books account) for any news and changes.

And if you want to lend a hand please get in touch. 



The official presentation of the Library of Sanctuary award was made during the AGM of CILIP North East 

(the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals).

The recording of the event is available here.



The latest newsletter is here



The Summer 2020 newsletter is available here


The Spring 2020 newsletter is available here


New Acquisitions

We are receiving some wonderful books for children from Macmillan, Nosy Crow and others in lots of languages including Turkish, Thai, Hebrew, Dutch, Swedish, Spanish, Italian, French, German, Estonian, Ukranian, Chinese, Danish, Finnish, Slovene, Greek and more...




“Lovely place, good choice of books. Friendly folk. Peaceful"


"Nice little place"