Norfolk and Norwich Millennium Library is celebrating National Libraries Day with various events today

Free activities are being held at The Norfolk and Norwich Millennium Library today to celebrate the first National Libraries Day.

More than 5,000 people joined Norfolk County Council's library service in January as part of a drive to get more people to become members and today is a chance for more people to celebrate their local libraries.

A total of 5,190 people became library members after the library service ran its Join up January campaign.

That compared to 2,129 new members who joined during December and far exceeded the target set for the campaign of 4,000 new members in January.

The most successful library was West Earlham in Norwich, which attracted 90 new members.


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The free activities at Millennium Library include 'storytime' for under-10s at 11am, followed by a 'love your library' craft event.

Between 11.30am and 1pm there is a free fitness and advice session, using the selection of health and fitness books that can be borrowed from the library, as well as chatting with a professional sport and fitness coach.

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Between midday and 12.45pm there is a 'Poetry for Twitter' event which will show it is possible to write a poem in 140 characters or less.

While throughout the day a lucky dip of 100 new books that have been wrapped up will be available, with people able to choose and borrow at random to encourage them to try something different and unexpected.

James Carswell, cabinet member for cultural services on Norfolk County Council, said: 'To encourage another 5,000 people to join the library in Norfolk in one month is no mean feat, particularly because we already have one of the best used library services in the country.

'Staff at all our libraries have really done themselves proud and I hope all these new members will get a lot out of their membership in the coming months and years.'

In addition the library service is encouraging people to take part in the 'Put Your Library on the Map' initiative, which is being run in conjunction with National Libraries Day.

People are being asked to use their smartphone and, standing in or near their local library, open up the website www.findalibrary.org.uk and click on 'use my location' to confirm where they are, and then 'put the library on the map'.

This updates a national database of library locations, helping to create a more accurate picture of UK public libraries.

It's free to join the library and free to borrow books, magazines and ebooks. If you would still like to join you can do so by visiting www.norfolk.gov.uk/libraries, or by asking a member of staff.

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