Book Festival highlights importance of Essex libraries
Book club members read at the Essex Book Festival launch at Chelmsford library
Library services are "the hub of the community" according to the Chairman of Essex County Council.
Speaking in Chelmsford Library at the launch of the Essex Book Festival, Cllr Bonnie Hart, said libraries provided a "marvellous service."
The festival is one of the biggest events of its kind.
This year's line-up includes poet, Sir Andrew Motion, authors Penelope Lively and Margaret Drabble and former labour spin doctor, Alistair Campbell.
Speaking live on BBC Essex on World Book Day, Cllr Hart said the event was immensely important and something Essex should be proud of.
Essex has 500 reading groups, the biggest number in the country, Chelmsford Library is regularly in the top five busiest libraries in the UK and Southend Libraries lend more books per head of population than any other library service.
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