SLOUGH’s library service has been ‘completely revived’ by the opening of The Curve, with membership continuing to soar since last year, the head of audience has revealed.

Dayna White, who is Slough Borough Council’s audience development coordinator, said membership had hit a plateau at the former central library site, which fronted High Street and William Street.

But the opening of the new central library and cultural centre, The Curve, in September last year has seen membership continue to grow - with 8,065 new members joining in the first year alone, a 59 per cent increase. In total, Slough libraries membership is now 68,900 strong, which includes people who go to events and use computers. Around 22,000 of them borrow books or other items each month.

Miss White, who is responsible for getting more people through the doors of the hub, said: “We didn’t expect figures to go that far up.

“I think it has completely revived our service. Membership had been on the increase (at the old site) but it had plateaued and when we compare our members to the population in Slough, there is a lot of room for improvement.

“But now it has skyrocketed and it has not plateaued at all since we have been here.”

During the one-year anniversary celebrations taking place this week, Miss White praised the efforts of the Curve’s paid and volunteer staff and said her aim was to reach as wide an audience as possible in the next year - attracting people who had never set foot inside the building. The hub also houses the town’s register office, museum, and registration service as well as the Community learning and skills service, which provides adult education and helps get people back to work.

Miss White said the biggest challenge so far had been adapting to the larger crowds that attend events at The Curve, when compared to the old central site. This comes with a greater variety of events being held including 3D printing and basic computer coding. She said: “At a recent event we were well over 100 (people) so it is being able to deal with that crowd control and making sure we don’t lose the personal touch.

“We have a really good mix of staff and volunteers so we have started to solve that problem – we have a lot of staff training and make sure we have a lot of staff onhand. We have recently put out a lot of adverts for jobs.”