General, Libraries

Investment in new library sees visitor numbers double

Visitors to Dorking library more than doubled when it re-opened in plush new premises.

A new chapter in the library’s life began with a bumper first week that saw 4,806 people through the door. This compares to 1,791 visitors during the final week at the library’s old location in Pippbrook House – an increase of 168%.

More than 250 new members signed up during the opening week, which is more than the number of people who joined throughout the whole of January 2011.

Surrey County Council located the new library in the heart of Dorking’s shopping area, in St Martin’s Walk, which means it is more convenient for people to visit.

The county council invested in £30,000 worth of new stock which is the equivalent of adding approximately 6,000 new books to the shelves.

Denise Saliagopoulos, Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Services and the 2012 Games, said: “The way people use libraries is changing so it’s vital we evolve and adapt to meet the needs of the 21st century visitor. We’ve invested in providing a bigger, brighter and better library for Dorking to encourage more people to use it.

“The layout has been designed to lead people on a journey of discovery, creating areas where people can sit, study, chat with friends or simply curl up with a book. These days library-goers want to use laptops and tablets so we’ve put in a computer area with charging points and there will be free wi-fi soon.

“By investing in and expanding town centre libraries such as Dorking, we’re ensuring they remain popular and relevant to their communities for many years to come.”

Features of the new library include:

* £30,000 of new stock including books, CDs and DVDs
* Computer area with free wi-fi and charging points
* Quick choice area
* Shopping centre location and eye-catching ‘shop front’ design
* Self service machines
* Children’s library
* Meeting room
* Study and teaching areas
* Young people’s area

ENDS

Media wanting further information can contact Surrey County Council senior media relations officer James Oxley at james.oxley@surreycc.gov.uk

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