Council bosses in Scotland have devised a series of news ways to attract people to public libraries: including offering free pole-dancing lessons.
Faced with government cuts and declining borrowing numbers, Midlothian council is running the class at Mayfield library in Dalkeith to coincide with Love Your Libraries Day on 2 February.
Across the region libraries are offering a variety of activities, including head massages, Scottish country dancing, Xbox challenges and ‘booky table tennis’ – a variation of ping pong that involves using books as bats.
But most surprising is the pole-dancing session which will run in the afternoon and only be open to people over 16.
Bob Constable, Midlothian council's cabinet member for public services and leisure, told the Press Association: "The pole fitness session is a fun and interesting way of encouraging more people into our libraries, trying out all the services on offer and ultimately borrowing more books”.
The threat to UK libraries has been a significant issue since the onset of the government’s austerity measures, with Newcastle and Sheffield among the areas worst hit with extensive cut backs to the service.
The Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) has predicted more than 1,100 library staff and 1,720 opening hours a week will be cut from libraries in 2013, as £22.5m in spending is gradually removed.
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