Weston-super-Mare Library’s ‘amazing’ success
PUBLISHED: 10:00 13 June 2016
The number of people using Weston Library has doubled since 2010, leading one councillor to hail the relocation of the facility as a ‘great success’ for the town.
The library was formerly based in Boulevard, but moved to Weston Town Hall, in Walliscote Grove Road, in 2012, despite opposition from library users.
Since that time, however, an extra 200,000 people have passed through the library’s doors, although the number of items borrowed has fallen.
North Somerset Council’s libraries, information and customer services manager, Andy Brisley, said: “Weston Library relocated to the refurbished Town Hall in autumn 2012 and our visitor numbers have grown significantly since then.
“We anticipate the range of services delivered through the library will change and increase over time as we adapt to the demands of our local communities, attracting more visitors through our doors.”
In addition to book borrowing, the library offers services including computer support, children’s groups and health trainer drop-in sessions.
Central ward councillor Richard Nightingale said he believes the library’s success could be bolstered by additional services, such as a space for police officers once Weston’s force relocates close to the M5, and healthcare facilities.
Cllr Nightingale said: “Weston’s new library at the Town Hall has proved an amazing success.
“In my view this is much to do with the location, accessibility and the welcoming modern aspects of the building. When you also consider there are few maintenance costs to taxpayers because the library is part of the council offices, the saving over future years should be significant.
“I hope this new facility will expand even more to embrace some of the other services we are currently lacking in the town centre and especially in Central ward.
“With Avon and Somerset Constabulary now choosing their site for Weston’s new police station on the dual carriageway, offering to include space for police officers as part of the expanding and successful Town Hall facility would maintain a strong town centre presence, while helping to increase their ability to tackle crime.
“It could also be used to underpin our struggling GP practices by offering other healthcare and practical support for town centre residents.”