Wellington Library use soars after move to civic centre

Wellington's new library has been a roaring success with a 50 per increase in usage since it moved home a year ago.

Against a national trend of closures and dwindling use, the library in Wellington's new civic and leisure centre has proved that there is a demand for libraries that provide modern services and opening hours.

Emily Knightley, spokeswoman for Telford & Wrekin Council, said: "Wellington library was relocated to the new civic and leisure centre just over a year ago and use has increased by over 50 per cent with visitors able to access the library seven days a week, whenever the centre is open, through self-service technology.

"We are also now looking forward to welcoming everyone to the new library at Southwater One in 2014 as part of the wider regeneration of the town centre."

Many councils have closed libraries in the face of spending cuts, but Telford & Wrekin has opted to modify opening hours, work with parish councils to keep smaller libraries open and, in some cases, move libraries to other council buildings.

Oakengates library has also moved into the same building as the town's theatre and Stirchley library now shares a building with Stirchley and Brookside Parish Council.

Ms Knightley added: "It's free to join the library and there is a wide range of books available for all ages. We are also actively investigating introducing e-books as part of our virtual library service for those who prefer to enjoy a good read without having to visit their library.

"Last year library users were consulted about what else they would like to find in their local libraries.

"As a result, the library service in Telford & Wrekin now provides access to the council's First Point service, free use of computers and access to the internet with free 'first click' and ancestry courses, free activities and events and volunteering opportunities so that people can get involved in their local library service."

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