Visits to Brent libraries buck London and national trend

The use of libraries in Brent has bucked the London and national trends by increasing in the last 12 months, according to figures released recently.  Statistics complied by the Chartered Institute for Public Finance Accounting (CIPFA) showed the number of library visitors in the borough was up by 1%. However across London the overall figure was down by 7% and across the UK it dipped by 6 %. Borrowing of books in the borough decreased by 2% but across London the slump was almost 10%.  In 2011, Barham, Cricklewood, Neasden, Kensal Rise, Preston and Tokyngton libraries were axed to save £1million.  Since then the remaining branches have switched to opening seven days a week with later evening; offer iPads and users aged between 12 and 17 are no longer hit with late fees.  The library service is now said to be "fitter and healthier than it ever was and has thrown open its doors to a whole new generation of users".

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