BOOK-LOVERS have helped make a library one of the most popular in the country.

More than one million people flocked to the Jubilee Library last year, making it the second most visited in England and the region’s top performer.

Compared with other similar local authorities, the Jubilee is rated the most popular, best value and second highest for items in stock.

Figures were published by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy.

The library’s popularity has been attributed to its central location, being open seven days a week and its wide range of services and community events.

Brighton and Hove City Council’s library team is now setting its sights on developing and improving services across the city to meet the growing needs of library users.

An 18-month plan has been drawn up following consultation with library users and is expected to be endorsed by the economic development and culture committee on Thursday.

If supported, there will be further consultation before a final plan goes to the full council for approval.

Not just for books Future proposals include developing local libraries as community hubs, increasing support for internet users and developing the home delivery service.

As well as the Jubilee, there is also a central library in Hove and 12 community libraries across the city.

There are more than half a million items of library stock across the city including 40,000 audio-visual items and 45,000 rare books.

Last year the libraries bought 50,000 new items of stock and issued more than one million items, averaging 66 per hour.

Libraries also provide free access to computer facilities for all members and Brighton and Hove has 217 public computers across the city, and a growing number of libraries now have Wi-Fi.

Committee chairman Geoffrey Bowden said: “It’s wonderful to see how our libraries have evolved from places to borrow books to providing a doorway to the World Wide Web.

“They continue to enrich people’s lives in so many ways, providing a safe, welcoming and stimulating environment for everyone – from the very young, through to the silver surfers.

“Most importantly, all our libraries remain open.

“We would urge residents, local organisations, groups and services to get actively involved in the next round of consultations to ensure we continue to meet the needs of all our communities and that we continue to represent good value for money.”