There are lots of features that make Upperthorpe library (in Zest) unique amongst all of Sheffield’s libraries. You may want to include some of these if you are writing to newspapers, contacting local councillors or filling in the library review survey.
- Opening hours: Upperthorpe library is open for more than 85 hours a week – far longer than any other library in Sheffield. It is the only library open late into the evening every week day and on Sunday (you can compare the Upperthorpe Library opening times with Central and Hillsborough library).
- Disabled access: Upperthorpe library has some of the best disabled access across Sheffield – there is parking nearby, ramps into the library and to other sections of the building, along with disabled toilet facilities. Other Zest facilities, such as the swimming pool and gym, are also uniquely adapted to be usable by people with a wide range of disabilities.
- Diversity of usage: the area is home to people from a wide range of backgrounds in terms of ethnicity, age and income. There is a large amount of deprivation in the immediate area. The library is also often used by individuals, who are passing through to use the other facilities in the building, who might never think to enter a dedicated library building.
- High computer usage: Upperthorpe library has some of the highest computer usage of all the city’s libraries. This is partly a reflection of the deprived nature of the surrounding area and partly due to this facility being available for so many hours a week.
- Low running costs: the library has by far the lowest running costs across all of Sheffield’s libraries – the heating, lighting and rent costs are included within the overall building costs for the Zest centre. The extended opening hours come at no extra cost to the Libraries service, as the building continues to be looked after by Zest staff when the librarians are not there.
- Integrated nature of the building: the presence of a swimming pool, gym, cafe, sports halls and meeting rooms in the same building means that many people travel from right across Sheffield to use the facilities. Having a library in amongst this unique community facility provides a space where people can stop, to read or share a book with their children, or check a few websites, whilst on the way to or from different activities.
- Transport links: the area is well served by two bus routes that stop immediately outside the centre (10, 31) and several other busses and trams that stop a short distance down the hill on Infirmary road.
- School usage: Upperthorpe library forms an integral part of the curriculum at Netherthorpe school which is attended by a large number of children who might otherwise have little opportunity to visit a library.