Despite overall visits to libraries in the UK falling since over 342 million visits in 2005/06, those in Swindon have very little reason to be worried.

The five core libraries – Swindon Central, North Swindon, West Swindon, Park and Highworth – together bring in over 500,000 visits per year.

And more books are being taken out than people visiting the locations – 586,767 loans to the 519,922 attendees. This doesn’t include the nine community libraries run by parishes and trusts which makes up Swindon’s 14.

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It’s been 10 years since the Central Library in the town centre opened, and the head of libraries believes it’s thriving because it keeps up with the times.

Allyson Jordan said: “The usage over the 10 years is interesting as it’s changed a little bit.

“A lot of people coming through the doors isn’t reflected in the loans that are going out because they’re using the computers, they’re studying, they’re bringing their own laptops in.”

One of the big reasons why the library system has managed to remain relevant in the age of technology is through what it offers.

“What’s really working now is e-books and audiobooks,” Allyson added.

“That’s really big and we do a lot of e-magazines. If you’re a library member you can borrow all of that without having to pay for them.

“We opened the central library 10 years ago, and it was about then that the other core libraries have been expanded and updated.

“Those libraries have changed and we like to think we’ve made them a bit more modern and attractive.”

More than 43,000 e-books, audiobooks and e-magazines are all available for free to a library member.

Despite all of the modern technology, Allyson still believes that traditional book lending, and the cost of buying your own books, is still what draws people to the library.

“We’ve had lots of comments saying ‘this is really good, I never would have bought this myself’ people want to try things but without having to risk all of that money on books.

“Our stock manager is very knowledgeable and she’s really on top of what’s going to go out and new things.

“We also have a request service. People can suggest getting certain books in, if we don’t already have it, and we consider all of them.”

Alongside offering traditional book lending, libraries have tried to make themselves part of the wider community.

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Allyson said: “We do a lot of story-times and rhyme-times.

“At central library we have to ticket those events because they’re so popular, we can’t really cope with the number of people who want to come and join in.

“There’s a very wide demographic for this library. We’ve got the local population who live around the area, during the story-time a lot of the Goan community comes in.

“We have a Sunday story-time for people to come in, which tends to be dads bringing their children.

“We’ve got young people, old people, this library is one of the biggest in terms of age and culture.”

The core libraries host 216 events throughout the year, which bring in more than 6,000 children and 5,000 adults.

And Allyson is hoping to continue making improvements, especially to the Central Library.

“Moving forwards, we would be looking at getting in more e-books, more audio and putting on more events.

“We would also like to see some more seating areas, because it can be very hard to find somewhere to sit.”

When it comes to inviting people into a library, Allyson only had one thing to say: “A library is a treasure house. You can come in and find anything you want and it’s surprising.

“There’s lots to discover.”