Libraries are about so much more than just books

Coun John Cottee, chairman of the communities and place committee at Nottinghamshire County Council
Coun John Cottee, chairman of the communities and place committee at Nottinghamshire County Council

Libraries are an important part of our local communities and joining the library is free, writes Coun John Cottee.

Libraries are home to more than just books.

You can discover audio books, DVDs, newspapers, large print books, books in other languages, arts workshops and exhibitions, local heritage collections, family theatre, drama, dance, sessions for pre-school children, author visits, book recommendations and access to the internet.

In a quest to celebrate the inclusive, vital role libraries play in our lives children’s poet and author Joseph Coelho set himself a challenge of joining a library in every library authority in the UK and it was an honour to hear that Worksop Library was one of those chosen to be a part of Joseph’s library joining marathon.

Joseph visited Worksop Library earlier this month.

Library staff welcomed him with his own Inspire library membership card, which he used to borrow a book to read on the rest of his journey.

SEE ALSO: Novel by former Worksop Guardian reporter was the most borrowed book in East Midlands libraries last year.

When asked why libraries were important to him, Joseph mentioned The Reading Agency’s summer reading challenge, which aims to get children aged four to 11-years-old to read six or more library books over the summer.

This year is the 20th year of the challenge and is inspired by the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing.

I managed to complete the challenge myself last summer and received my certificate, just like every child who successfully completes their challenge.

The Reading Agency has found that children who take part maintain their reading level over the holidays, return to school keen and ready to learn and become more enthusiastic about reading.

In Nottinghamshire there are 67 libraries and four mobile library vehicles.

The council has made big investments in libraries in the last 10 years and last year county libraries had 2.5 million visitors.

Libraries are free and easy to join - join yours and see what you can discover.