Library milestone in Lowestoft

A new Sunday-opening library celebrated a milestone.Lowestoft's refurbished facility threw its doors open for the first time on a Sunday as part of a staggered programme which has run for five weeks at a number of libraries in Suffolk.

A new Sunday-opening library celebrated a milestone.

Lowestoft's refurbished facility threw its doors open for the first time on a Sunday as part of a staggered programme which has run for five weeks at a number of libraries in Suffolk.

Just over an hour later the library welcomed the 5000th person to use the Sunday service in the county.

Gueniver Pashent, assistant director of libraries and heritage, said the Sunday openings had been a success.


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"It's really taken off," she said. "Especially with a more informal approach.

"We've got music and it's designed to increase interest in the library."

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The number of staff has been reduced for the Sunday service to keep down costs – but otherwise it's business as usual from 10am to 4pm.

"People are checking their own books out and they're able to use the internet machines," added Mrs Pashent. "And we're encouraging people to come to the library, especially people who wouldn't come otherwise."

For the launch street entertainers were stationed outside and visitors were encouraged to take part in a project to build an archive of what Sunday means to Lowestoft people.

Jane Hore, county councillor for Lowestoft, said the image of libraries was changing.

"I think this is really going to work," she said. "Lowestoft's library is a community resource and the style of libraries is different now from how it used to be. The old fashioned 'shhh' has gone now and the whole atmosphere makes it a little more accessible."

Visitors can sign up to the library on a Sunday as well as borrowing books, videos and DVDs. There is also a chance to log on to the internet and a coffee bar at the rear of the building is also open from 10am to 4pm. Gill Jenkins, locality manager at Lowestoft, said Sunday staff would be encouraged to dress casually to keep the atmosphere welcoming.

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