NOT a single book was taken out of a pop-up library on Barrow Island in a whole year, councillors have been told.

Eighteen books were processed through a self-service machine at Barrow Island Primary School for use by the community during 2017-18, but the “loans” were IT staff checking the machine worked, a report found.

Cumbria County Council installed the library for the community to use but the service was not open all the time, councillors were told.

A new approach to providing library services to Barrow Island residents has now been backed.

A report before Barrow’s Local Committee on Friday read: “During the year 2017-18, there have been a total of 18 book issues recorded through the self-service machine. When analysed, these all relate to technicians testing or working on the ICT system.”

Tracey Ingham, the county council area support manager for Barrow, told the meeting a different approach is needed after the success of library events.

“The proposal is to move away from the static library in the school and do more outreach,” she said.

The area’s libraries as a whole showed that in just two months, 844 adults and 538 young people were “actively engaged” by library staff.

“These figures are purely from activities, outreach and events, and do not include customers using the library for everyday use,” the report said.

Comments from those taking part included: “I’ve learnt so much from using the library, it is vital to the town.”

Councillors agreed that library staff should visit community venues on Barrow Island on a weekly basis.

It would involve children being engaged through story and rhyme times, computer sessions, craft activities or class visits.

Adults would be engaged in library services by a series of author visits, coffee mornings and reading groups, among other ideas.

Cllr Sol Wielkopolski (Con, Newbarns and Parkside) said children got more out of interactive events.

Councillors agreed to invest £5,400 in Barrow Central Library to provide a package of “autism-friendly” services for children and adults.

Cllr Anne Burns (Lab, Hindpool) said of the plans: “This is going to mean a lot to people who use the service.”