Village library in Co-op store sees more book lending

A pilot scheme where a library and post office have been integrated into a Lincolnshire Co-op store outside Lincoln has proved popular.

The Waddington Library moved last November from the site at Lower High Street to a new location in the Co-op pharmacy on Bar Lane, where there is also a post office.

The project is a partnership between the Lincolnshire County Council and Co-op and saw a £70,000 makeover investment.

In December 2012, 20% more books were issued than in December 2011 at the old site and almost double the number of new members joined.

Spare space in the pharmacy was used for distinct library sections with some 4,000 books, a photocopier, a self-service machine, an enquiries desk and seating areas.

The pharmacy was also given a makeover with new dispensary shelving, a refurbished consultation room, new seating and counters.

A team of 16 volunteers mans the library for two to three hours a day. Previously, the library was open for 14 hours a week over three days, but now it is open for more than 48 hours a week along with the pharmacy.

Executive Member for Cultural Services, Councillor Eddy Poll, said: “The old library building was past its best, so it was important we took this opportunity to move the service to a new home.”

Chief Executive of Lincolnshire Co-operative, Ursula Lidbetter, said:  “We’re pleased to be working with Lincolnshire County Council on this pilot, which illustrates one possible way of providing library services in the 21st century. Back in 1873, Lincolnshire Co-op opened Lincoln’s first reading room so this project is even more special to us.”