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Beccles Library celebrates an extension of its opening hours

Trustees of Beccles Library mark the increase in the library's opening times.

Trustees of Beccles Library mark the increase in the library's opening times.

Archant

Supporters of Beccles Library attended a special event this week to mark an increase in the opening hours.

The library will be opening an additional four hours every Wednesday, extending its closing time from 1pm to 5pm.

The extra staffing cost is being funded by Beccles Library Community Trust - the library’s community group set up to support and develop the facility.

And on Wednesday, Beccles mayor Hugh Taylor, who is also a member of the trust, officially cut the ribbon launching the changes along with Ellen McAteer, who became manager of the library in January.

She said: “I think it is fantastic news and it comes at a time when library closures across the country are in the news, but thanks to the trust, Beccles Library is able to stay open even longer.

“The library is very well used and it is becoming more like a community centre because we have so many different groups including a jobs club and groups for children and grandparents.”

The library’s trust has signed an agreement with Suffolk Libraries to fund the extra hours for an initial two years which will be reviewed towards the end of the period. The early closing on Wednesdays was originally designed to match the early closing of shops in the town but most local businesses are now open all day.

Mr Taylor said: “I am delighted that we have been able to extend the opening hours and it is great news for the library and the people of Beccles.

“There was a strong feeling from the staff and the volunteers that it was worth doing and I know local people will benefit from it.”

Waveney District Council’s customer services team moved into the library around 18 months ago which has also increased visitors.

And the library is hosting a six-week reading programme for Beccles Free School pupils on Wednesday afternoons, which will start next week. The Reading Hack will involve students taking part in reading-inspired activities involving themes such as technology and poetry.

For the library’s full opening times visit http://suffolklibraries.co.uk/branches/beccles-library

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