A £3.8m refurbishment and a varied calendar of events have brought 133,000 visitors to Bolton’s Central Library and Museum in the last three months.
This is an 18 per cent increase on the same period in 2017.
Bolton’s Egypt, a new exhibit showcasing thousands of ancient Egyptian artefacts, opened its doors in September last year.
The exhibition, which features a full-sized recreation of the tomb of Thutmose III, attracted almost 10,000 visitors on its first day alone.
Since then, the exhibition has been complemented by a number of activities which have helped Bolton’s Central Library and Museum buck a national trend for declining footfall.
Events have included late night openings, guided tours and more than 80 class visits for 3,000 schoolchildren.
Terry Deary, the world-famous author of Horrible Histories, brought his play ‘The 11th Hour’ to the Library Lecture Theatre in November and popular picture book character ‘Stick Man’ was brought to life through interactive storytelling in the festive period.
During a pre-Christmas late-night event at the museum giftshop, visitors enjoyed discounts on items ranging from Constance Howarth designer products to children’s toys.
Similar success can be seen across the borough where Bolton’s network of libraries saw borrowing rates increase in 2017/18.
Against a national backdrop of falling library use, the decision to abolish late fees for young readers has seen a 7% increase in books taken out by children in Bolton.
Bolton libraries’ growing e-book and audiobook collections has also kept adult borrowing at consistent levels.
Bolton Council’s Executive Cabinet Member for Culture and Sport, Cllr John Byrne, said:
“The continuing success of the Central Library and Museum and of Bolton’s Egypt is testament to the hard work of everyone involved and is something the whole town can be proud of.
“From children’s stories to adult learning, there is something for everyone both in the town centre and at all the libraries across the borough.
“At a time when library attendance is falling nationally, we are committed to ensuring as many people as possible can benefit from this vital community resource.”
For more information about what’s on at Bolton Library and Museum visit boltonlams.co.uk, follow @BoltonLMS on Twitter.