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Diversification sees boost in library visits

PUBLISHED: 07:00 16 July 2019

Author visits, comedians and even live rock music are all part of the fun at libraries. Picture: Melissa Page

Author visits, comedians and even live rock music are all part of the fun at libraries. Picture: Melissa Page

Archant

Visits to libraries in Bexley have soared by 45,000 compared to last year.

Cllr Peter Craske welcomes the boost in numbers visiting the borough's libraries. Picture: Bexley CouncilCllr Peter Craske welcomes the boost in numbers visiting the borough's libraries. Picture: Bexley Council

The council said some of that is down to new initiatives to expand the services available.

Councillor Peter Craske, the cabinet member for places said: "This is great news for our library services. They have always been popular, but by being innovative, by adapting and by using our library spaces in different ways we are reaching new audiences.

"The Libraries at Night project was a great success earlier this year and along with our annual BookBuzz festival, the activities put on at all of our libraries bring all sorts of people in. Author visits, comedians and even live rock music are all part of the fun."

He added: "Our Crayford Library is home to a post office, Welling Library offers freelance or start up office space - The Workary - and the Central Library is home to our Local Studies and Archive Team. All our libraries run special sessions and clubs that range from 'Bexley Battle Gamers' to 'Gardeners Coffee Club'. These are just some examples. Our community libraries continue to be busy and by managing their own time and programme have branched out in ways that would not have been possible before.

Author visits, comedians and even live rock music are all part of the fun at libraries. Picture: Melissa PageAuthor visits, comedians and even live rock music are all part of the fun at libraries. Picture: Melissa Page

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"Because of Imaginative thinking and bold decisions, while other boroughs are seeing their libraries close, ours are thriving."

Next on an agenda of events is the Summer Reading Challenge and September Sounds. The Summer Reading Challenge starts on July 13.

The theme for this year's is 'Space Chase', an out-of-this-world adventure inspired by the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing. The Challenge will run in all Bexley Libraries and is open to children of all ages and reading abilities.

September Sounds is a multi-venue music festival that will take place in Sidcup, Bexleyheath and Erith funded by Bexleyheath BID, Sidcup BID and Bellway.

Bexley libraries are also taking part in the 'Start Up in London Libraries' scheme that offers free workshops for aspiring entrepreneurs.

For more information on libraries visit www.www.bexley.gov.uk/libraries

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