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Hive Tops West Midlands Poll for Visits and Book Borrowing

The Hive in Worcester has been named the most popular library in the West Midlands and in the top five in England.

According to the Annual Public Library Statistics from the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA), The Hive issued 903,859 books during the financial year 2013/14 and achieved 978,199 visits.

This has placed it top in the West Midlands for both and second in the Country for the number of books loaned and fourth in the Country for visit numbers, just two years after opening, beating both Oxford and Cambridge Central Libraries.

The Hive, a joint initiative between the University of Worcester and Worcestershire County Council, was opened by HM The Queen in July 2012 and has so far seen more than two million books issued and more than two million visits.

Anne Hannaford, Director of Information and Learning Services at the University of Worcester, said: “The Hive is more than a library, not only does it have a quarter of a million books over five floors, but it is also home to the Worcestershire Archive and Archaeology Service. The variety of shared services brings so much more to the University and the community.

“The partnership is a brand new concept in libraries and improves services for everyone. The Hive is open for 95 hours a week and creates a whole new way of library users living and working together.

“It works so well because of our shared values, and The Hive’s position in this year’s CIPFA figures proves this.”

Councillor Lucy Hodgson added: “The Hive partnership has benefited both students and the public. There is now a greater access to stock and resources with students being able to easily access public stock and the public accessing university titles and online resources. The opening hours are much longer, 8.30am to 10.00pm every day and students are now able to return their borrowed books to any public library in Worcestershire.

“As a library, The Hive also hosts a wide range of events from Professorial Lectures to productions from theatre companies.

“The University take their role in the community very seriously and The Hive has enabled them to have an even bigger presence in Worcester, removing a “town and gown” division.”

So far, The Hive has received or been shortlisted for 48 national and international awards; and the University of Worcester was recently shortlisted for The Times Higher Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Local Community through its part in the development – the second such award since winning the Guardian University Award for Contribution to the Local Community in 2013.

If you would like to find out more about The Hive visit www.thehiveworcester.org.