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Libraries in Newham are among the best in the country

PUBLISHED: 14:00 17 July 2018

Stratford Library. Picture: Newham Council

Stratford Library. Picture: Newham Council

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Libraries in Newham are among the top 10 in the country.

One of Newham's libraries, Custom House Library in Prince Regent Lane. Picture: Ken MearsOne of Newham's libraries, Custom House Library in Prince Regent Lane. Picture: Ken Mears

In the Library of the Year award last week, run by publisher The Bookseller, Newham Libraries, which manages the borough’s reading rooms, reached the top 10 shortlist, but missed out on first place to Liverpool Central Library.

Forty libraries entered, with two prison libraries also making the final 10 – Thameside in London and Ford prison in West Sussex.

Newham Libraries was recognised for its work in increasing community engagement in a deprived area. Newham is classed as 25th most deprived borough in England, and its projects with children aged four to 12 were praised, including the Summer Reading Challenge. The challenge saw 23 schools taking part at events in Newham’s 10 libraries.

Library manager Caroline Rae said: “For a relatively small cost the library reached out to 18,000 children and their families, increased awareness of the library and of reading for pleasure.

One of Newhams libraries, East Ham Library in Barking Road. Picture: Isabel InfantesOne of Newhams libraries, East Ham Library in Barking Road. Picture: Isabel Infantes

“Schools that were previously difficult to engage with have become regular visitors.”

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