Page last updated at 09:37 GMT, Monday, 2 February 2009

Library usage boosted by downturn

Libraries are stocking up on books on coping with the recession

A big jump in library membership across Cumbria could be due, in part, to the downnturn in the economy, the county council has said.

Latest figures showed that almost 5,000 people joined the library between September and December last year, a 39% increase on the same period in 2007.

The council believes people are borrowing books, CDs and DVDs, rather than buying them.

Library PCs are also being used to access advice about jobs and money.

Cumbria's library service has been stocking up with titles reflecting the economic downturn, such as "Frugal Food", "Thrifty Ways for Modern Days", and "Get Out of Debt".

Councillor Barbara Cannon, cabinet member responsible for adults and culture, said: "These are difficult times and the county council is working hard to help people through the recession.

"The library service is a resource that there's for everyone to use and I am heartened to see that people are recognising this and joining up."

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