Hampshire Libraries: are you getting the most out of your local library?
Whether you are a regular visitor or you haven’t been inside your local library for a long time, the chances are that there is a lot more on offer than you realise. So perhaps it is time to get better acquainted with your library.
As you might expect, there are stacks of books to choose from including fiction, biographies, plays and poetry as well as children’s books, graphic novels and factual books. If your library hasn’t got what you want, you can ask a member of staff to order it, or order it yourself, via the online catalogue in the library or on your own computer.
From Hollywood to Bollywood, reggae to rap, The Sims to Super Mario Bros, Hampshire’s libraries have a fantastic selection of films, music and games to suit all tastes and ages. If you love borrowing DVDs, CDs and games, then why not join the Annual Film Membership scheme?
For just £40 a year, you can borrow two items at any one time, with no limit on the overall number that can be borrowed during the course of a year. There are no overdue or renewal charges to pay either!
Other features now available, or coming soon, include self-service machines to check items in and out quickly and easily, free internet access and Wi-Fi. There are many classes and workshops on offer too, such as Baby Bounce & Rhyme Time, Knit and Natter groups and skills development. At Hampshire’s three pioneering discovery centres in Winchester, Gosport and Basingstoke you will find all this and more, including museum displays, cafe or drinks facilities, community rooms and performance spaces for music gigs, shows, comedy and author talks, as well as meetings.
The library service also organise a number of special events and festivals throughout the year to promote reading and books, such as the Summer Reading Challenge and the Wessex Book Festival for Children, the Reading Relay and the Hampshire Big Read.
- Last year there were 6.7 million visits to Hampshire libraries.
- 275,000 people used their library card at least once.
- 7.55 million items were borrowed.
- Currently 2,500 eBooks and eAudiobooks are downloaded each month.
- Over 40,000 items are renewed each month online.
- Over 16,000 items are reserved online each month.
1. Hampshire is reviewing its Mobile Library Service for the first time since 1997. A consultation process with stakeholders, including customers and parish councils, has taken place in order to find an effective solution for delivering significant efficiency savings.
2. Bordon Library in East Hampshire is due a mini-refurbishmentwhich should be completed by late spring. Odiham and Overton libraries have re-opened following refurbishment and Winchester Discovery Centre is due to undergo refurbishment in May.
3. You can now download eBooks and eAudiobooks, for free, from Hampshire libraries directly to your iPhone or iPod. Simply go to the ‘App Store’ and download the Overdrive Media Console app.
Culture-all Families have been chosen to review their visits of Hampshire County Council attractions. Rachel Brown’s family recently visited Milestones Museum in Basingstoke and said “It’s a fantastic place to go when the weather is looking doubtful. Once inside, it’s like a little village with cobbled streets, shops, a village green and even a pub".
For more information about these activities and of the library service visit www.hants.gov.uk/library or call 0845 603 5631.