Libraries get 20% rise in books’ budget

LIBRARIES are to receive 20 per cent more cash to buy books. Cambridgeshire County Council s budget has increased from £900,000 to more than £1,025,000. Currently it buys 100,000 books a year. Head of libraries and information, Lesley Noblett told The Hun

LIBRARIES are to receive 20 per cent more cash to buy books.

Cambridgeshire County Council's budget has increased from £900,000 to more than £1,025,000. Currently it buys 100,000 books a year.

Head of libraries and information, Lesley Noblett told The Hunts Post: "The book fund had dropped in real terms over recent years, and it was important that councillors put more money in, even in the face of serious cuts."

Not all the money goes on new books, she said. Many titles are borrowed for years and replacement copies need to be available to borrowers. Titles that go out of print are cleaned and re-bound.


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"Some books last a number of years, but eventually they do need to be replaced. And people want to read new editions. But we sometimes have huge waiting lists because we can afford only a few copies."

The county has 32 static libraries and is about to spend £100,000 to replace one of the eight mobile libraries. They are used by 2.8million people, who borrow 3.2million items.

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Since opening hours were extended a few years ago use of the buildings has increased particularly by extending opening hours at Huntingdon - the second best-used library after the Central library in Cambridge - and St Neots.

The buildings in St Ives and Ely now open seven days a week.

County council cabinet member for environment and community services, Councillor John Reynolds, said: "We have been able to demonstrate our support for the library and information service by finding an extra £225,000 for the book fund.

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