12 April 2012

Libraries are set to open on Sundays from next weekend (Sunday 22nd April).

The new opening hours will see 34 Northamptonshire County Council libraries open from 1pm to 4pm every Sunday and the Central Library in Northampton open from 11am to 4pm.

Sunday opening will make libraries even more accessible to families and other customers, giving people more time to take advantage of the various activities and facilities on offer.

To allow Sunday opening, there will be a change in opening hours on other days, including some closures on a Monday or Tuesday. The new opening hours will begin from 16th April, full details of times for all libraries are available online.

Cabinet member for customer services Councillor Heather Smith said: “Libraries are so much more than the sombre book-borrowing service you might remember from the past.

“Today, you don’t have to be silent when you visit a library; they are busy, lively buildings with a range of activities and facilities on offer such as internet access, job clubs or children’s Rhymetime sessions.

"We want to make sure that libraries thrive and everyone has the chance to use them. They are fantastic places for families to spend time together and by opening on Sundays, we are giving people even more opportunity to visit, especially those who are at work at other times.

“To make this possible we’ve had to re-organise opening hours across the week and although this means that some libraries will now be closed at other times, overall I’m pleased to say we’ve actually increased total library opening hours by nine more every week. We will continue to monitor opening hours to make sure they meet the needs of library users.

"And also, by opening up libraries to allow more people to visit and make use of the services on offer, we have more opportunity to raise valuable funding to support the library service so that it can continue to succeed in the future.”

A consultation about the changing opening hours was held earlier this year. 66.5% of people consulted said they could use the service on a Sunday.