No record of when a library service to Dunston or Whickham started but they were among the first communities to have libraries.
Dunston Library was situated in Brompton House and was a small divisional library from where Whickham, Swalwell, Sunniside and Marley Hill were served. The staff were all based in Dunston and would work in various locations. Most of the smaller communities, including Whickham, had collections of books delivered by vans and left in village halls and staffed for a few hours every week.
Whickham Library had a number of different premises, including a room in The Hermitage and a shop in Front Street, but in February 1968 they moved into a purpose built building in Chase Park. As the community of Whickham grew with the building of new housing estates the management of the sub libraries was transferred from Dunston to Whickham. This became a divisional library.
The population continued to increase and when the shopping centre in St. Mary's Green was planned, a new library was included. This opened on 26th September 1975 and is still well used but is once again proving too small.
Whickham Library is now open 49 hours per week and issues 176,000 items per year. It has approx. 9,000 members and a stock of 25,000 books.
The population of Dunston declined and the old building in Brompton House became totally unsuitable and past repair - at one time the chimney fell through the roof - so a decision was made to include the library in a new Activities Centre which opened on 17th July 1986.
The library was in the old Claxton's Hall behind Holy Trinity church. It was closed in the 1950s and Blaydon or Whickham were then the nearest County Durham libraries.
The libraries were part of the Durham County Library Service but now are run by Gateshead Council.