How many book loans were made at Norfolk libraries last year - and how many visits?

The Forum and Norwich Millennium Library by night.
Photo: Bill Smith

The Forum and Norwich Millennium Library by night. Photo: Bill Smith - Credit: Eastern Daily Press � 2002

For thousands of people, from all walks of life, they are a place to discover new worlds, escape reality and catch up with friends.


Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Last year, there were 250m visits to libraries around the country - more than to music gigs, cinemas, theatres and the UK's top 10 tourist attractions combined.

From Monday, Norfolk County Council hopes to encourage both library regulars and those less familiar to explore what they have to offer as part of National Libraries Week.

Kicking off on Monday, and running until Saturday, the theme of the week is discovery - with a push to show off all that the country's libraries, including the 47 in Norfolk, have to offer.

From last September until now, there were 3.3m visits to Norfolk libraries, 4.5m books borrowed and 33,000 new members.

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Margaret Dewsbury, chairman of the council's communities committee, said: 'Our libraries have become real community hubs and have come a long way since they were places where you just read books and had to be quiet.

'I would encourage residents to make the most of all the free services on offer at their local library in Norfolk by getting involved in National Libraries Week.'

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Events will be held throughout the week, including storytelling sessions with author Liam Carroll, visits by the Book Doctor, who prescribes new reading material, book clubs, colouring clubs, baby bounce and rhyme time and the library Olympics.

It is hoped it will show people that libraries can be used for more than borrowing books - in Norfolk, they boast more than 130 weekly activity groups for all ages.

The Millennium Library in Norwich. Forum.
Photo: Bill Smith

The Millennium Library in Norwich. Forum. Photo: Bill Smith - Credit: Archant © 2011

Many are part of the council's In Good Company campaign, which aims to tackle loneliness and isolation.

A collection of books has also been put for the week, called Journeys of Discovery, which will initially be available at the Millennium Library in Norwich, as well as those in Dereham, North Walsham, Wymondham, Downham Market, Sheringham, Poringland and Diss.

For more information and details on the events together happening at your local library, click here.

• How important is your local library to you? Write, giving full contact details, to Letters Editor, Eastern Daily Press, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1RE or email

Mr Carroll's storytelling sessions will be held at Thetford, Dersingham, Norwich Millennium, Dereham and North Walsham libraries.

Other sessions include:

• Monday, October 9 - Discover Your Past, at Attleborough Library from 11am to 12pm.

Margaret Dewsbury, Norfolk County Councillor. Picture: Norfolk Conservatives.

Margaret Dewsbury, Norfolk County Councillor. Picture: Norfolk Conservatives. - Credit: Norfolk Conservatives

• Tuesday, October 10 - Coffee morning for World Mental Health Day at Caister Library from 10am to 12pm.

• Wednesday, October 11 - The Book Doctor at Blofield Library from 10.30am to 11.30am.

Also on Wednesday is Discover Walking at Downham Library from 2pm to 3pm.

• Thursday, October 12 - Discover Online at Great Yarmouth Library from 10.30am to 11.30am.

• Friday, October 13 - Walk and Talk at Costessey Library from 9am.

Also on Friday is Discover Quilling at Gaywood Library from 10am

For the full list of events, with timings, visit the website.

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