March 8 2014 Latest news:
Janine Rasiah, Senior Reporter
Monday, February 24, 2014
More than 2,000 people passed through the doors of East Ham’s new library and service centre on Thursday.
Newham mayor Sir Robin Wales officially opened the £14.3 million building watched by a crowd which included some of the 80 residents who were involved in its construction.
The three-storey facility brings together customer services and a state of the art library which contains more than 30,000 books.
Sir Robin said: “Our residents have told us that they value their libraries and easy access to council services and we’ve listened to what they’ve said. At a time when other councils have closed their libraries, we’ve kept ours open and invested heavily to make them more accessible, increased the number of computers and new books as well as enabling residents to access council services in one place.”
The open-plan library includes a large children’s library and area for activities and story telling sessions, reading and study areas plus a language lab.
There are more than 42 free public computers offering free internet access with four book drops to avoid queuing.
The customer service centre offers advice on housing options, debt and benefit advice.
Residents can also use the self service kiosks to carry out simple transactions such as paying their council tax or a bill, reporting issues such as fly-tips, keeping track of enquiries or searching for jobs.