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Visitor numbers off the page for Canada Water Library's opening week

Published Tuesday, 06 December 2011

More than 15,000 people flocked to Southwark Council's new multi-million pound "super library" at Canada Water during its opening week, figures revealed today.

As a comparison, the previous library in Rotherhithe averaged 7,000 visitors per month.  

Records from the first seven days of the new library also show that the number of items issued was well over 8,000. Of those loans, nearly 80 per cent were done via the new self service machines.  

The library was designed by renowned architect Piers Gough, partner at CZWG, and is the first in London to boast a 150 seat purpose built theatre as well as tube station exit and entrance within the building.  

Other figures reveal that:  

  • On its first day, over 3,500 visitors passed through the doors, and nearly 2,000 items were issued.
  • On its first day nearly 350 new members were registered.
  • Over the opening week nearly 1,000 new members were registered. 

Reaction from the public has also been positive.  

Carmen Gowie, who is 24 and from Borough, was one of the first through the doors. She said:  

"It's an amazing piece of architecture, and inside it was so well laid out - the view down the stairs is amazing. It's nice to have something that local residents can enjoy, and I particularly liked the self-service desks."  

Dinah Cox, who is 48 and is the director of a local charity (Time and Talents), was the very first person to be issued a book at the library. She said:  

"It is marvellous, and in such a beautiful setting. I particularly liked the light, and also how accessible it is for those with mobility issues. In a time when things are being cut, there is a free service here for people who need it." 

Susan Cross, from Rotherhithe, who was among the first to join, said:  

"I love it! I love the open space and the fact that you have a cafeteria - it's somewhere where you can meet people rather than just use and leave straight away."  

Cllr Veronica Ward, cabinet member for culture, leisure, sport and the Olympics at Southwark Council, said:

"These figures prove that we are a borough of library lovers. It's brilliant that the library has got off to such an amazing start and that there is such a strong demand for what this place has to offer."  

Background Information

The library opened Monday November 28 2011. 

Features include:

  • Some 40,000 books, music CDs & films.
  • Day and night time theatre performances run by the Albany, Deptford's renowned performing arts venue, in the 150 seater theatre and culture space.
  • A café on the ground floor.
  • Space for meetings at the same theatre space which converts into an open floor area of 150 m².
  • Space for early evening classes in one of the three separate learning spaces.
  • Free internet at one of the library's 79 computers.
  • A tube station with exit and entrance incorporated into the building, with real time train times on the library plasma screens.
  • Access to council services such as benefits and council tax help, from January.
  • Amazing views of the historic Canada Water basin, which it overhangs.

 

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