New library service begins

PUBLISHED: 15:09 03 August 2010 | UPDATED: 15:09 03 August 2010

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BACKWELL’S library building closed for good on Saturday and a new service began at the village leisure centre on Monday.

BACKWELL’S library building has closed for good and a new service began at the village leisure centre on July 26.

The move comes after months of discussions about where such a facility could be sited after an announcement was made in September that North Somerset Council would shut the Station Road library as part of a cost-cutting review.

A new library access point has now opened at the leisure centre in Farleigh Road and it will be accessible on Mondays to Thursdays from 7am-10pm, on Fridays from 7am-9pm and at weekends from 8am-8pm.

There is a selection of the most recent fiction best-sellers and non-fiction focusing on healthy lifestyles.

A public access computer with Internet access and office software is also available along with information on North Somerset Council services.

The leisure centre, which is run by Parkwood Community Leisure, has been modified to allow a new reception desk to be installed to help manage the additional services.

The centre’s café will also be reopened to offer hot drinks and snacks.

North Somerset Council’s executive member with responsibility for libraries, Councillor Felicity Baker, said: “Backwell library was only open for 12 hours a week and many working people did not get the chance to make the most of the service.

“By providing a library access point in the leisure centre, people can access books at a time that is convenient to them as well as picking up other useful information about the council’s services.

“We also hope that new members, who have not visited a library before, will join the service.”

The mobile library will also be making a weekly visit to Backwell Leisure Centre on Mondays from 2-5pm, offering a wider range of library stock and services.

In September, as well as Backwell’s library, it was also announced that the libraries in Congresbury and Banwell would be closed as part of the cost-cutting review.

However, the Congresbury facility was saved after the parish council stepped in with a grant to train volunteers to run it.

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