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Date posted 20 Sep 2019

Last year a news article was published on the BBC News website, to highlight why more people are using the libraries.

It's Friday evening and Woolwich Centre Library in south-east London is packed.

There are children doing homework, parents chatting, jobseekers using the computers and students making use of the free wi-fi.

The library saw visitor numbers grow to more than 1.2 million last year, bucking the national trend which saw footfall drop by 10 million since 2016/17.

Earlier this month, new figures from the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (Cipfa) - which are based on responses from 81% of councils in England, Wales and Scotland - suggested more than 120 libraries closed last year.

Fola, 42, has been running free tutoring at Woolwich Centre Library since it moved to its current location in 2011.

"This space is fantastic. It's one of the best things that happened to this borough," she says.

''Anyone can set up their own community group there for nothing, on top of the busy timetable of activities run by the library ranging from careers workshops to coding lessons.''

Martin Stone, a sector librarian for GLL, which runs the library on behalf of Greenwich Council, says the secret to its success is simple - an attractive building in a central location, plenty of computers, reliable wi-fi access, and a steady supply of new books.

To read the full article, click here.


*Source: BBC News.