LIBRARIES in Northamptonshire are being promoted as the place to help people through “tough times” with new zones created featuring a collection of self-help books.
Northamptonshire County Council held an official launch event at the Central Library in Abington Street, Northampton, on Friday for the new library Change! zones, which bring together a collection of titles covering topics such as job seeking, skills improvement, volunteering, financial advice and confidence building.
All libraries also offer free internet access on Fridays and return to work sessions offering CV tips.
Job club groups are also held at the Central Library.
Councillor Heather Smith (Con, Prebendal), cabinet member for customer services, said: “For people who are unemployed and don’t know what to do we encourage them to come to the library and speak to people trained to give advice.
“So many people don’t know what their library can offer apart from a book borrowing service.
“Libraries have a vital role in helping people during these tough times and we have developed various initiatives to support people in lots of different ways, such as finding a job, building self-confidence or starting a business.
“We are constantly looking for ways to develop and expand these services and want to work with other local organisations to see what they can offer and how we work together.”
Barbara Leigh, principal librarian at the Central Library, added: “I think it is an absolutely fantastic way to help people. I think it is a good idea to put together a collection of books that can help build confidence.”
Library user Patrick Shanahan, age 52, of Spring Boroughs, said: “I think there is a wonderful range of books. The staff are always really friendly and helpful.”