Swaffham libary's landmark birthday

PUBLISHED: 10:35 02 July 2010 | UPDATED: 11:46 08 July 2010

SWAFFHAM library celebrates its 50th birthday on Saturday with a party attended by past and present members of staff.

SWAFFHAM library celebrates its 50th birthday on Saturday with a party attended by past and present members of staff.

Reading group members and the oldest and youngest library members will also attend the invite-only party, which will see Councillor Ann Steward cutting a birthday cake.

When the library opened in July 1960 it replaced facilities run by volunteers since the 1930s. In 1959 the voluntary service had 741 borrowers who read 14,475 books throughout the year. Last year Swaffham Library had more than 65,000 visitors, issued 75,000 books and joined more than 600 new members.

The library service in Swaffham has undergone a number of changes in its 50 years of existence, with the Norfolk's library catalogue being computerised in the early 1990s, the introduction of public PCs in the early 2000s and earlier this year the library's first self-service machines were installed which allow people to issue and return books themselves.

Derrick Murphy, Cabinet Member for Cultural Services at Norfolk County Council, said: “Swaffham Library is very well-used by the local community and remains a focal point for people to access and share important information and find a wide range of reading material. It is great to be celebrating Swaffham library's 50 years at the heart of the local community.

“I would certainly encourage local people who haven't used the library in its 50 years so far to drop in soon to see what being a library member in Swaffham could offer them.”

Anyone in Norfolk can join the library service for free. To find out more about local library services, visit

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