SWINDON’S new £10m Central Library has been hailed a wonderful facility.

People flocked to the site in Regent Circus which opened for its first full day of service yesterday.

It holds more than 77,000 books and there are 60 computers, which are free-to-use, spread over three floors.

The library is an energy-efficient building and it has kept the Grade II-listed, brick-built Victorian town hall, which it is attached to.

Patricia Crocket, 72, from Walcot, said: “It’s brilliant to have such a lovely library and much needed for Swindon.

“I’m surprised how state-of- the-art everything is. I’m very impressed.”

Library manager Trish Mundy said: “I never imagined I would be working in a library like this, it’s fantastic.

“It’s going really well and we’ve had lots of positive feedback.”

The new library also received a warm welcome from others.

Swindon Borough Council leader Rod Bluh said: “I’m naturally delighted that the response to the library has been so positive.

“The building is quite special with the design and the way it feels inside.

“I think people were in a state of shock after seeing how good it was.

“I’m glad it overwhelmed rather than underwhelmed.”

The temporary portable buildings which served as Swindon's main library for nearly 30 years were removed from the Regent Circus site in June 2006.

Since then the library has been housed in the Paramount Building in Princes Street.

Construction work on the new library began in January last year.

It is built from traditional but high-quality, materials and has a tiled roof which continues the roof line of the town hall.

There is a cafe on the ground floor which is close to a central courtyard between the two buildings.

The courtyard will be open on dry days for visitors to sit, read and relax.

The library has an Express Zone, which allows people to borrow and return books from 8.30am and up to 10pm on weekdays. It closes at 7pm on Saturdays.

It is also open from 11am until 3pm on Sundays.

For information call the library on 01793 463238 or email central.library@swindon.gov.uk.