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Page last updated at 14:55 GMT, Friday, 18 September 2009 15:55 UK
Campaign: Anything but Shhh!
Emily Anderson, Mark Murphy and Rob Dunger
Emily Anderson, Mark Murphy and Rob Dunger at Gainsborough Community Library

A campaign's been launched to promote all the services Suffolk's public libraries offer alongside books.

Anything but Shhh! is a collaboration between BBC Suffolk and Suffolk County Council.

It coincides with the official opening of the new £1.4m Gainsborough Community Library in Ipswich.

The new building has a cafe, recording studio, computers, audio posts, meeting spaces for clubs, societies, books, magazines, racks and shelves!

If the library conjures up images of dusty books and librarians prowling around keeping things quiet, you probably haven't been for a long while and will find things have certainly changed a lot.

The idea of Anything but Shhh! is to encourage us to take advantage of what libraries have to offer and these days it's quite a lot.

Yes they still loan out books, CDs and DVDs but now you can also pop in for a coffee or snack, surf the internet, take part in one of the special classes or even use a recording studio. You are even allowed to make a noise!

BBC Suffolk's Mark Murphy is featuring the campaign on the weekday breakfast show alongside producer Emily Anderson and fellow presenter Rob Dunger.

"I hadn't been to a library in years and couldn't believe what is now on offer," said Mark.

"We're all heading off together to get our library tickets at the new Gainsborough library," said Mark.

"It'll be interesting to see what books they read in their spare time.

"I reckon Rob will like travel and my producer Emily will be after more books on assertiveness."

James Hazell broadcast his weekday mid-morning show live from Gainsborough as well.

Bring it back

BBC Suffolk negotiated with Suffolk County Council for a week-long amnesty in September 2009 when you could take your overdue book, DVD or CD back without fear of being fined.

The Lesley Dolphin afternoon show offers suggestions for A Good Read every Monday afternoon.

"Our libraries are hugely varied, exciting places to be, and a far cry from the perception of rows of dusty books and disapproving librarians," said Rosie Clarke, Suffolk County Council's portfolio holder for sport, culture, diversity, health and well-being.

"Whether people come for the laid-back atmosphere of our Sundays, with music and fun for children, or to enjoy free access to the internet from our PCs, we have lots to offer.

Councillor Rosie Clarke
Councillor Rosie Clarke shows us what won't happen in a modern library

"It's a place for people to meet their friends, take advantage of our extensive catalogue of books, games and DVDs, and get involved in activities from clubs to special events.

"There's something for everyone and we're delighted to be able to tell everyone about it with support from BBC Suffolk."

Suffolk has 44 libraries and six mobile libraries so why not pop into one near you and see what is on offer? In these times when many of us are strapped for cash it could end up saving you a packet.




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