Our changing libraries now host story telling, the internet and coffee mornings

Completion of £1.2m building project will be next stage in letting Barrow's main books base adapt to the needs of a modern world

NEW ways for the public to use library services in Furness have developed at a rapid pace in the last 20 years and the latest stage should be ready in September.

Builders are working on a £1.2m project  at Barrow's main library to make the building more accessible and enable better use of the available space, particularly in the former upstairs museum.

Our pictures, from The Mail's archive give a taste of how libraries in Barrow have seen everything from charity coffee mornings to story sessions for children and the arrival of the internet.

The central library remains open and will continue to host events and displays around the construction work.

On Thursday, February 6, the library is hosting a Harry Potter Night with the theme being taken from The Goblet of Fire novel.

The doors open at 6pm and getting dressed up is encouraged. A family quiz starts at 6.30pm.

To book places you should call 01229 407373.

The library also has a series of monthly displays, each featuring 10 books on a theme, to link with the BBC Year of Novels That Shaped Our Lives.

This month the theme is identity and includes books such as Toni Morrison’s Beloved, while in February the focus is on love and romance.

March has an adventure theme and the 10 chosen books include everything from the Hunger Games to Lord of the Rings.

Back In October 2000, Barrow library hosted Book Start, part of national initiative aimed at getting young and old  to read more books and to take greater advantage of library facilities.

Those facilities went high tech in the same month when a new PIE access machine arrived at the library in Ramsden Square.

The letters stood for public Internet and email and Frances Lomas, the IT and reference librarian, was on had to demonstrate how to use it.

Access to the service cost £2 for 30 minutes.

The Mail, on Wednesday, January 15 in 2003, noted: "Barrow library was today expecting an army of bookworms through its doors hoping to snap up cheap books ina bumper new year sale.

"Books are being sold at the Ramsden Square building from as little as 10p.

"The majority of the books are adult fiction titles but there are also non-fiction and children's books up for grabs."