Work on new Wakefield library under way

Building work is under way on Wakefield's first new central library for more than 100 years.

The new library – to be stocked with around 60,000 books and 60 computers – will be part of Wakefield Council's new civic office building on the Merchant Gate development, close to Westgate rail

station.

It will replace the city's current two central libraries at Balne Lane and Drury Lane.

Coun David Dagger, Wakefield Council's cabinet member with responsibility for the library service, said: "The new library is due to open in spring or summer of 2012.

"We are now looking for feedback on the interior design of the new library and what services you would like us to provide there.

"Whatever your ideas we want to hear them."

Council chiefs say the move will mean improvements to existing services including the local history section, children's library, teen area, reference and information, fiction and non-fiction lending stock.

New technology will be used to enable self service lending and there will be wi-fi and electronic displays.

The new library facility will be shared with a Wakefield Council

customer service centre so users can also deal with general council inquiries.

Last year council chiefs said spending cuts could see Wakefield's smaller libraries run by community groups in a bid to save them from

the axe.

Wakefield Council bosses said government funding cuts meant new ideas were needed to keep the district's libraries running.

The idea was raised as part of a major review which exposed both a crippling cash shortage and the dilapidated state of some libraries in Wakefield and the Five Towns.

To register views about the interior of the new library email centrallibrary@wakefield.gov.uk or write to Westgate Library design, Library Headquarters, Balne Lane, Wakefield, WF2 0DQ.

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