This is the fourth instalment exploring major library projects involving our netloan PC booking software customers. Following these projects, use of library services has increased in response to the modern and inviting facilities provided. They have also created some inspiring new urban landmarks. In each case, the digital offer provided by these libraries is a core part of services – an essential element that we are committed to supporting and developing through our netloan portfolio.
The Word, South Tyneside
In 2016, South Tyneside opened a new library and digital media centre, The Word, in South Shields as part of the town’s £100m regeneration. The circular building, with its logo incorporating a wireless symbol, has been named to reflect the evolution of the written word in its many modern day forms (see top of page, photo credit: Julia Chandler/Libraries Taskforce).
As well as providing a suite of public access computers controlled by netloan PC booking, the library offers ‘OpenZone’ digital classrooms, a media studio and FabLab, to support schools in a range of projects including film-making, animation and coding. It has since reported that its People’s Network computer logins have more than doubled in the first year of opening. There’s also been 176% increase in the number of new library members. The Word continues to develop its services with a new events space, ‘The Round’ being built in the rooftop level.
Last year, The Word won the national Community Benefit award in the annual RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) Awards. It was praised for providing what judges described as “a truly inspiring and interactive community-led centre with a 21st century library and exemplary facilities”.