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TOP MARKS FOR LIVERPOOL LIBRARIES

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Liverpool's libraries have been given top marks by the government. ...
Liverpool's libraries have been given top marks by the government.

The city council's Annual Library Plan has been awarded the highest assessment of 3 *** by the department of culture, media and sport.

The plan has been applauded by the government for the city council's commitment to improving services, and how the authority proposes to meet the Public Library Standards by the end of 2004.

Public Library Standards cover aspects such as opening hours, satisfaction of requests and spending on new books.

Since 1998 Liverpool's Libraries Service has:

* Become the UK's first major city to introduce Sunday opening -

(Introduced September 2000 - attracting 1,000 new members)

* Opened 3 new libraries

* Invested£250,000 in improving the book stock

* Introduced self service counters to reduce queues

As part of the three-year plan the council is to open a further two

libraries this year at Dovecot and Fazakerley, and by November 2002 to

establish ICT learning centres at all 24 libraries installing an extra 240

computers.

The DCMS report said: 'This is a good and well balanced plan ... it has

addressed regional and national issues (such as social inclusion and

lifelong learning) and demonstrates sound progress towards them.'

Kathy Johnson, acting head of Library services, said: 'We're delighted to

receive the government's highest mark. We have worked hard to improve our

libraries and upgrade facilities for the people of Liverpool.'

Cllr Frank Doran, executive member for leisure and tourism said: 'This

assessment proves that the government acknowledges that we are well on

the way to providing a library service worthy of a premier European

city.'

A copy of the Annual Library Plan is available for consultation at every

library.

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