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Which of the top 10 books borrowed from the Forum library in 2015 is your favourite?

PUBLISHED: 09:23 09 December 2016 | UPDATED: 10:51 04 August 2017

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

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

Eastern Daily Press © 2002

Nearly one million books, CDs, games and audio items were borrowed from Norfolk's flagship library last year - more than any other library in the UK.

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

New figures from the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) found that the Norfolk and Norwich Millennium Library, based at the Forum in Norwich, saw 984,445 items borrowed during 2015 to 2016, the highest number in the UK.

In previous years, the popular library has been named the busiest in the UK - a title this year scooped by the Library of Birmingham - with six consecutive wins up to 2013.

Jan Holden, head of libraries and information at Norfolk County Council, said: “It’s fantastic to know that the Millennium library has the highest borrowing numbers in the country and I would like to say a big thank you to all our staff and volunteers for their hard work and commitment to making it such a welcoming and interesting place to visit.”

She said the branch was a “fantastic example” of an “innovative approach” to running a library.

“The library really does offer something for everyone,” she added. “We welcome people of all ages to our libraries and we are keen to ensure they remain key hubs of the community, across the whole of Norfolk.”

Comments on the Evening News website echoed the praise, with many highlighting the events for children, heritage centre and variety of books as reasons to visit.

Margaret Dewsbury, chairman of the communities committee at Norfolk County Council, added: “These figures reinforce how much our libraries are valued by members of the public. We have an exceptional service and I’m pleased that so many people continue to use them for a variety of reasons.”

Nationally, the survey found that the sector took a £25m hit to its budgets in the year up to March, while the number of public libraries open dropped to a 10-year low, from 3,917 to 3,850.

The library in The Forum, Norwich; picture by Adrian Judd; for EDPThe library in The Forum, Norwich; picture by Adrian Judd; for EDP

Visitor numbers also slid by 15m down to 250m, while book budgets took an 8.4pc hit over the period.

And while the level of full-time staff slumped by 5.3pc, the number of volunteers rose by 7.5pc, up to 44,501.

What do you think of our libraries? Write, giving full contact details, to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE or EDPletters@archant.co.uk

• We’d like to know why you love the Norfolk and Norwich Millennium library - and how regularly you visit. Share your views in the comments below.

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