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Bookstart Bear Club

Bookstart Bear Club sessions inspire a love of reading that will give children a flying start in life.​

What is Bookstart Bear Club?

Bookstart Bear Clubs are weekly sessions in libraries across the borough that your child will love. Sessions include:

  • Themed stories
  • Rhymes
  • Songs - with musical instruments

The Bookstart programme recognises that children who are introduced to books before primary school age will start school with significant advantages and achieve higher success in all parts of education. 

All our libraries have wonderful selections of picture books, board books and story books for children of all ages. Library membership is FREE.

Sessions are presented by Irene Peachey, Early Years Library Worker and winner of a Bookstart 25th Anniversary Award. Find out more about the Bookstart 25th Anniversary Awards

How much does it cost?

Bookstart Bear Club is free and open to all. There's no need to book.

What ages is Bookstart Bear Club suitable for?

There are 2 types of sessions:

  • Bookstart Bear Club sessions are suitable for children aged 15+ months.
  • Bookstart Baby sessions are suitable for children aged 0-15 months. 

Where and when is my local session?

We aim to run as many Bookstart Bear sessions throughout the year as possible, however, there will be times when we are unable to run the sessions and will update this page accordingly.

Bookstart Bear Club stopped running from February-July 2019. However, the sessions are now back again. You can view the August 2019 sessions as well as sessions running from September 2019 onwards below.

Bookstart Bear is back.

August 2019 Bookstart Bear Club sessions

There are a number of Bookstart Bear Club sessions running in August 2019.

​Library ​Date ​Time
Heywood Library​Thursday, 8 August 2019​10am-11am
11.20am-noon (Bookstart Baby)
Darnhill Library​Monday, 12 August 2019​10am-11am
Spotland Library​Tuesday, 13 August 2019​10am-11am
Middleton Library​Wednesday, 21 August 2019​9.45am-10.45am
11.15am-11.45am (Bookstart Baby)

September 2019 onwards Bookstart Bear Club sessions

From Wednesday, 4 September 2019 Bookstart Bear Club will run at the following libraries, days and times.

Darnhill LibraryMonday 10am-11.30am
Smallbridge LibraryMonday2pm-3pm
​Spotland Library​Tuesday​10am-11am
Middleton LibraryWednesday9.45am-10.45am​
11.15am-11.45am (Bookstart Baby)
Rochdale Central LibraryWednesday1.30pm-2.30pm
Heywood LibraryThursday10am-11am
​11.30am-12noon (Bookstart Baby)
Balderstone LibraryThursday2pm-3pm

Do you have your FREE Bookstart pack?

Every child in England is entitled to 2 FREE Bookstart packs. Each pack includes books to keep.

You can get the first pack when your child is around 6-8 weeks of age, usually from your Health Visitor. You can get the 2nd pack before your child starts school, usually from your child's nursery or preschool. If your child doesn't go to nursery or preschool, please contact your local library. View your local library details

Do you have your FREE copy of Bear's Reading Adventure?

Children aged 0-5 can get a FREE storybook called Bear's Reading Adventure from any library in the borough.

What Bear's Reading Adventure is
Bear's Reading Adventure is a story which follows Bookstart Bear as he discovers new and exciting places to read. 

The book was created specifically for families with children 0-5 years old and has been safety tested for babies. It contains tips on how to have fun reading together as a family every day.

Bear's Reading Adventure aims to encourage families to use the library regularly to develop a lifelong love of reading. 

Collect 10 stickers to get your certificate
The storybook has 10 missing stickers for your child to collect.

Bookstart recommend children get their copy of Bear's Reading Adventure the first time they visit the library and then collect a sticker each time they visit the library after that.

When your child has collected all 10 stickers, they can download a certificate to celebrate their success.


0300 303 8876

Phone: Monday-Friday 8.30am-5.30pm.
Closed for training Monday 11am-11.30am.

Did you know?

Joining a library is FREE. You can join any library in England and Wales to use their facilities.

So, if you can't find it with us, take a look at the services on offer at a different library.

Join Rochdale borough libraries

It only takes a couple of minutes to join the library online. You can use your library membership to:

  • Download the latest eBooks, eAudiobooks and eMagazines to your smartphone, tablet or desktop.
  • Reserve and renew books.
  • Choose from thousands of great books and audiobooks.
  • Access a range of online resources.
  • Borrow items from any library in the Greater Manchester Consortium.

Please remember to bring identification when you first visit the library to borrow items - for example, utility bill, driving licence or bank statement.

Join the library