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Increase in visitors to Brent libraries buck London and national trend

PUBLISHED: 18:50 13 January 2014 | UPDATED: 14:48 14 January 2014

Library visitors are on the up in Brent  (pic credit: Jan Nevill)

Library visitors are on the up in Brent (pic credit: Jan Nevill)

Copyright: Mr. Jan Nevill

The use of libraries in Brent has bucked the London and national trends by increasing in the last 12 months, according to figures released today.

Statistics complied by the Chartered Institute for Public Finance Accounting (CIPFA) showed the number of library visitors in the borough was up by one per cent.

However across London the overall figure was down by seven per cent and across the UK it dipped by six per cent.

Borrowing of books in the borough decreased by two per cent but across London the slump was almost ten per cent.

In 2011 the council controversially closed six of their 12 libraries in the borough.

Barham, Cricklewood, Neasden, Kensal Rise, Preston and Tokyngton libraries were axed to save £1million.

Since then the remaining branches have switched to opening seven days a week with later evening; offer Ipads and users aged between 12 and 17 are no longer hit with late fees.

Cllr Roxanne Mashari, Lead Member for environment and neighbourhoods, said: “Gone are the days of silent, stuffy reading rooms that only open from to five, Monday to Friday. Today’s Brent libraries are cutting edge, dynamic schools of learning and fun which embrace modern technology and have adapted to fit the busy lifestyles of local residents.

“The library service is now fitter and healthier than it ever was and has thrown open its doors to a whole new generation of users.”

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