Maisy the Mouse joins in birthday fun at Acle library

Young book worms were in for a treat at their local library when Maisy the Mouse popped in to help celebrate a 20-year milestone.

The colourful children's character Maisy the Mouse was at Acle Library yesterday to celebrate its 20th birthday.

Maisy took part in a summer reading challenge with children.

She also judged a birthday card design competition which was won by Hannah Berry, aged nine.

And as Maisy thrilled the youngsters older people enjoyed a cup of tea as they viewed exciting plans for the future of their village library.

Next March, as an early 21st birthday present, the library off Bridewell Lane will double in size to more than 130sqm.

The extension, above, is necessary as the numbers of visitors has shot up by nearly 5,000 during the last five years to 39,196 book lovers between April 2009 and March.

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The work by Norfolk County Council will see increased computer facilities and allow the library to hold events such as story and rhyme times for children and babies.

Library manager Kymm Lucas said yesterday's open day event was a success with about 50 people attending in the first few hours.

She added the extension plans showed how the community of Acle supported its local library.

The extension will open at the same time as a new neighbouring SureStart Children's Centre.

Derrick Murphy, county council cabinet member for cultural services, said: 'Acle Library is a relatively new building but it was built before computers and the internet became such a feature of everyday life and changed the way we access information. This extension will give people a more modern, easier-to-use library service.'