So much going on in our libraries

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Like many people, I’d have to say that, reluctantly, I’m not exactly a frequent library-goer. As much as I’d like to spend time browsing the shelves and relaxing with a good book, real life gets in the way.

Very recently I had need to research local library provision and what I thought would be a quick look on West Sussex County Council’s website turned into a most illuminating visit.

I thought I’d share my findings with County Times readers as there might be more going on in your local library, than you thought.

You can easily find the libraries section on www.westsussex.gov.uk and you can join online – for free.

You can do everything you might expect – browse the library catalogue, reserve books and check your account. But there is so much more...

For a start, it’s not all about books. Libraries have newspapers – both in their premises and online; they offer e-books, audiobooks, cds and dvds; they hold regular and one-off events for children and adults; they give you access to online arts sources and reference material; they have computers for you to use to get online; they hold material on local history; they hold and print maps for planning application purposes; they organise reading ‘challenges’ for children – I could go on.

Just a quick look at the ‘what’s on’ section shows that Billingshurst, Southwater and Horsham libraries all have regular ‘Rhyme Time’ sessions for little ones; Billingshurst has a regular adults reading group and Horsham has a varied programme, including ‘Knit and Natter’!

There are special events too – on Saturday (24th), Southwater library has a Christmas Storytime at 10.30am and between 3 and 4pm there is a Christmas crafts session for five to 11 year olds.

Don’t forget that you can go to events at any library – that means, for example, the ‘Evening with Prue Leith’ at Crawley Library on Tuesday, November 27 and the ‘Wenceslas Week: a taste of Christmas spectacular’ at East Grinstead library on Saturday, December 15 where there’ll be something for all the family.

In a nutshell, whether you have an energetic toddler to amuse; you’re on your own and in need of a bit of company or you want something for your e-reader, look no further than a library.