Norfolk and Norwich Millennium Library in running to be library of the year

The main library in Norwich is to go head to head with four others in a battle to be named as library of the year.

The Norfolk and Norwich Millennium Library is one of five shortlisted for the Bookseller's Library of the Year award.

The library, in The Forum, will go up against libraries in Edinburgh, Orkney, Stockton-upon-Tees and Northampton to win the award.

The winner will be announced at an event at the Hilton Park Lane in London on Monday, May 14.

Barry Stone, cabinet member for cultural services at Norfolk County Council, said: 'I'm so pleased for staff at the Millennium Library and the wider library service that they have received this national recognition.

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'I think most people in the county know we've got something special in the Millennium Library, which is why it's been the UK's most popular library for five years running.

'It's a great story that The Forum, in which the library is housed, has risen from the ashes of the fire that devastated the former library in the 1990s to become one of the most iconic buildings in Norwich in just over 10 years.

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'The fact that the library has been such a success after coming through this kind of adversity is testament to the enthusiasm, tenacity and creativity of its staff.

'To be shortlisted for Library of the Year is a fantastic achievement in itself, but of course we all have our fingers crossed that the Millennium Library will clinch the title in May – I certainly feel it would be a very worthy winner.'

In its submission to the awards, the wide range of events and activities the library offers is cited as key to attracting in excess of 6,000 visitors to the library every week.

On Monday, the library will mark the second annual World Book Night, giving away copies of books that feature on the 25-strong World Book Night list from 6pm.

People are also being encouraged to share their love of reading and bring along a book to swap on the night.

The library will also be launching a new free performance poetry night which they hope to make a regular event. The poetry begins at 6.30pm and will be interspersed with book swapping until the library closes at 8pm.

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