IT’S been 50 years since North End library first opened its doors to the public.
And half a century later, celebrations have been held at the venue in Gladys Avenue.
People were invited to attend the library, which opened in 1963, to celebrate its history and heritage.
Linda Collins, outreach librarian for North End, Paulsgrove and Cosham libraries, said: ‘At this particular time,when libraries are in danger of going, it’s good to celebrate one that has been here so long.
‘We have all different people coming in here. We get a lot of families because of storytime and rhyme time. Children’s books are the biggest growth area at the moment.’
She added: ‘That’s a lot to do with our partnership working with children’s centres but also with schools.’
A scheme was launched last year to give out free library cards to every pupil across the city.
And North End saw its biggest ever take-up of a popular summer reading campaign, which tasks children with reading six books over the school summer holidays.
Linda added: ‘Reading is a life skill that will stand children in good stead for whatever they do in their future life.’
The original North End library opened in April 1897, and was above the police station at Kingston Crescent.
Yesterday tours were held for members of the public.
Residents are invited to drop in all week and jot down their memories of the library and North End shopping centre. And a party was also held last night to allow staff past and present to mark the occasion.
In the past year, the number of children taking out books across the city has gone up by eight per cent.
It ties in to The News’ Read All About It campaign to boost reading and writing in the area.