On Wednesday 22 June 2022, the fully refurbished Worthing Library will have been open for a year, having not been changed since it was originally opened in 1975.
Last year Worthing Library re-opened to the public after being closed for nine months for a full refurbishment.
Since the new look library reopened on 22 June 2021, it has seen:
- Customer visits grow week on week, and the library now serves nearly 3,500 customers each week.
- Almost 3,000 people join the library as new members since July 2021, using their library card to borrow books, use the public computers and take advantage of the free eLibrary to download books, audiobooks, newspapers and magazines.
- Around 2,027 new babies registered for their birth certificates in the new custom-designed registration offices on the first floor.
- More than 1,600 couples visiting the registrars to give notice of their intent to marry, and over 71 weddings take place in the library itself, using the new Ceremony Room available for couples on Saturdays.
Lyndsey Nichols, Worthing Library Manager, said: “Libraries worked hard throughout the pandemic, supporting the local community with book deliveries, online events and digital support to connect them with loved ones. The team at Worthing managed all of this as well as helping to set up and kit out the beautifully refurbished library.
“Worthing Library is a busy community building right in the town centre and we have so many facilities and events on offer for families, adults, business owners, remote workers, students and book lovers. We feel privileged to have found an additional 3,000 new library members since last July to enjoy all of this with us, but we always love to see a new face, so to anyone who hasn’t been to visit yet, we invite you to come along and discover all the things on offer for yourself.”
The library, situated in Richmond Road, Worthing had not been changed since it was originally built in 1975, even though the services housed in the building had expanded to include activities for children and families, hireable meeting spaces, a fully functioning lecture theatre and regular drop ins by local partners and organisations.
Duncan Crow, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Community Support, Fire and Rescue, said: “Worthing Library was already a hub for the local community before its refurbishment, but since reopening it really has become a central location for residents in and around Worthing.
“It is great to see people using the library for its original purpose, but also having people come into the library for other services we now have available, such as new mums and dads bringing their babies in to see the health visitors that now use the library building, or even people just popping in to use the free internet and WiFi whilst soaking up the sun on the tables located next to the floor to ceiling windows on the ground floor.
“The increasing use of Worthing Library week on week proves just how important it is to invest in our community buildings and we can’t wait to see how Worthing Library continues to grow, prosper and support residents in the coming years.”