Local book fans have been keeping Cheshire East library staff very busy during the last 12 months.
Recent figures reveal that 3,076,388 items – which include books, CDs and DVDs – were loaned by Cheshire East libraries between April 2010 and March 2011.
It is hoped the figure will help Cheshire East Council maintain its title as the most prolific lender of books of all unitary authorities in the country.
The Council-run libraries, a total of 21 across Cheshire East, issued 8,482 items for every 1,000 people – showing an average of eight items loaned per person for 2010/2011.
Macclesfield Library was the busiest, issuing 416,976 items, closely followed by Crewe Library with 368,498 items and Nantwich with 245,707 items.
Last year, statistics collated by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountability (CIPFA) revealed that the Council lent 2,913,226 items – more than any other unitary authority in the country.
And staff are bracing themselves for an even busier year as several Cheshire East libraries recently underwent major refurbishment work to boost facilities.
Facilities at Congleton, Alsager, Wilmslow and Knutsford libraries have been upgraded, and now boast larger, more inviting seating areas, larger children’s areas and better customer service desks.
New self-service ‘kiosk’ facilities have been installed, which will reduce queueing for people who choose to issue, return and renew their own items.
Guy Kilminster, Head of health and wellbeing, said: “I am very proud of these excellent borrowing figures. The popularity of our libraries is testament to the hard work put in by the library staff and the quantity and quality of our stock.
“As part of our vision to improve community life, the Council is always looking for ways to encourage local residents to visit and enjoy our superb libraries. These figures show that libraries continue to play a big part in our community.”
More information on local libraries, including a link to the virtual reference library, can be found at www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/libraries