Volunteers are taking over control of five libraries in Gateshead from today to ensure they remain open for the future. A formal handover will take place at Low Fell Library. The other four are at Lobley Hill, Sunderland Road, Winlaton and Ryton.
Gateshead Council says the move is necessary because of government cuts to its budget and should prevent libraries closing.
A list of top local authority earners reveals the chief exective of Gateshead Council,
Roger Kelly, retired with almost £400,000 last year.
Durham County Council has also been highlighted in the Town Hall Rich List, as having more than 20 executives earning £100,000 a year or more.
Councils have criticised the way the list has been compiled.
Gateshead Council says the figure included Mr Kelly's pension payout accrued over 25 years and that its senior management costs are actually coming down. But the Taxpayers' Alliance though insists the figure is still too much.
Two of the founders of the Baltic are being honoured by Gateshead Council. Sune Nordgren, the first director of the gallery, and Alan J Smith, its first chairman, will be made Freemen of Gateshead in a ceremony on Tuesday. The Baltic gallery celebrates its tenth anniversary this year.