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A library and service centre of the future opens to the public

21 February 2014 in Council and democracy and Mayor and Regeneration
A brand new multi-million pound centre in East Ham was officially opened yesterday (Thursday 20 February) by Mayor Sir Robin Wales.
Mayor Sir Robin Wales talks to children at the opening of the new East Ham Customer Service Centre and Library.
The innovative centre is the first of its kind in Newham and brings two services together under one roof; customer services and a state of the art library.

More than 2,000 customers passed through its doors on the first day to visit the library and use the services on offer.

The new three-storey facility was purpose built next door to Newham Town Hall and is part of the council’s wider investment in the area which includes a new sixth form campus.
The open-plan library features a large children’s library and area for activities and story telling sessions, reading and study areas plus a language lab.

There are more than 42 free public computers offering free internet access and more than 30,000 books available to take out on loan, with four book drops enabling books to be returned without queuing.

A range of different services from housing options, debt and benefit advice to help with paying your rent are all available under one roof in the customer service centre.

Residents can also use the self service kiosks to carry out simple transactions such as paying their council tax or a bill, reporting issues such as fly-tips, keeping track of enquiries or searching for jobs.

Sir Robin Wales Mayor of Newham said: I’m pleased to officially open this brand new
centre. Our residents have told us that they value their libraries and easy access to council services and we’ve listened to what they’ve said.

“At a time when other councils have closed their libraries, we’ve kept ours open and invested heavily to make them more accessible, increased the number of computers and new books as well as enabling residents to access council services in one place.

“We’ll continue to invest in and provide our residents with the first class services and facilities they deserve.”

Nadia Shahid and Shahzeb Khan both 16 from East Ham said: “It's so much better than the old library. For one thing, there are more computers to access which means we are much more likely to find a free computer if coming in to study.

“It's also easier to navigate and the book range has increased. It feels more spacious and is definitely more enjoyable to visit.”