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Wincanton Library bucks the trend

Sunday 14 October 2018, 13:44
By Penny Ashton

Children taking part in a craft event at Wincanton Library during a school holiday

Not many of us are aware that libraries in Somerset keep a record of the number of people who use the service. This is not nearly as sinister as it may sound; it's common sense for the County Council, who fund our library service, to make sure that they are providing, with our money, a service that we want.

In the case of Wincanton Library, it seems that they are doing just that, as although from 2011 visitor numbers had been dropping by about 1000 per year, in the year 2016/17 the fall was 835, in 2017/18 it was only 249, and in the first five months of this year (April to August 2018) Wincanton Library visitors had increased in number by 600 compared with the previous year.

Over the summer holiday this year about 240 children from local schools took part in the summer reading challenge: to read six books over the holiday period, and about 70% of those completed the challenge and were awarded with a medal and certificate. There is plenty going on for children of all ages in the library, from Rhyme Time for the pre-school-agers through to Lego clubs and Chatterbooks, and all activities for children are free of charge, although booking is almost always needed as numbers have to be limited.

Wincanton Library Friends organise one event for children of about primary school age during each school holiday and half term, and during the summer holidays this year organised one event every week. This year brings the 60th anniversary of Paddington Bear, so look out for a Peruvian-themed event at half term.

We are all made very aware through the news that local authority finances are under pressure, and the County Council will certainly not be able to continue to fund luxuries, but Wincanton Library is proving that it is essential to the community. Next time you are in town, why not look in and see what's happening? You may well be surprised and pleased that you did.


Posts: 1
Wincanton Library
Reply #1 on : Thu October 18, 2018, 16:24:36
We owe a huge debt of gratitude to Shirley and her colleagues who are always so welcoming and helpful, as well as to Jane and her trusty band of volunteers. They all make our library a very special place.

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