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Herts libraries more popular than Tower of London and Stonehenge

Latest figures reveal that Hertfordshire libraries are more popular than some of the country’s top tourist attractions.

According to information recorded in the 2017-18 financial year and released this month, there were more than 3.5 million visits to the county's libraries, with a further 2.2m accessing services online.

In comparison, the capital's Science Museum had 3.25m, Tower of London 2.84m and Stonehenge 1.58m.

Libraries offer a wide range of events and activities for young and old, from baby rhyme time and toddler talks to coding clubs for youngsters and IT pop-in sessions for older people.

Other events – such as the summer reading challenge, in which more than 20,000 children took part – and slipper swap sessions continue to make libraries operate as community hubs.

Cllr Terry Douris, Herts County Council's cabinet member for libraries, said: “Our libraries are not only a place to borrow books, they are a hub for local arts, culture and heritage, and a place where people can develop new skills and create new support and social networks.”

A procurement process to choose a new provider for the county’s library services will begin in spring 2019.

Cllr Douris said: “The reason we are going through this process is to ensure we can keep delivering the library services residents love, despite pressures to make savings on budget.”

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