Stafford Library is celebrating its first year at its new home in Staffordshire Place in the heart of the town.
The £1million library in Tipping Street opened its doors to the public last September, bringing with it state-of-the-art services and modern facilities.
Since opening, the library has enjoyed around 170,000 visits, issued 113,000 books, and seen over 3,000 new members join.
Schools, colleges and local businesses are all benefiting from the library, which offers a flexible community space and the latest in technology along with access to over one million books, e-books and resources. New digital touch tables, public computers and free wi-fi are also giving people access to online information.
Dozens of clubs and community groups meet at the library every week. Activities include a coding club, crossword club, craft workshops, jobsearch club and baby bounce & rhyme session.
Gill Heath, Cabinet Member responsible for libraries at Staffordshire County Council said:
Our new library has proved to be a real hit with the public and groups since it opened last year. It’s hard to believe it’s a year but we’re delighted it’s become so popular with so many visitors and new members.
“It’s also wonderful to see the range of different groups and ages using it, from the baby bounce and rhyme sessions and the craft group to the reading groups, job clubs, and local history talks.
“Located in the heart of the town, the library is also complementing the exciting retail development at Riverside, while supporting local businesses, promoting skills and learning and helping to grow the local economy.”
16-year-old George Bott, from Stafford is a volunteer at the library who dedicated over 50 hours of his spare time to helping visitors this summer. George said:
I love volunteering in the library, it’s such a cool place to be and there are so many different things to help out with.
“During the school holidays I helped out with the summer reading challenge, helping to sign people up and then issuing their medals and certificates as they completed the challenge. But I help with lots of other activities too. As well as all the books, the library is full of modern technology and I enjoy helping people with these and showing them how the different things work. Volunteering here also gives me a chance to meet other people, increase my confidence, and learn some new skills which I can put on my CV.”
The library’s Innovation Suite offers access to 3D printing, supporting people and businesses to design and develop new products and prototypes, while Raspberry Pi’s are available to help children and teenagers learn coding and other computer science skills.
People can find out more about the library and the activities available at www.staffordshire.gov.uk/staffordlibrary.