DEVON County Council’s library service has been shortlisted for a prestigious national award.

The service is one of only seven from across the UK to be selected for the coveted Library of the Year accolade at the forthcoming Bookseller Industry Awards.

Ciara Eastell, Head of Devon County Council's Library Service, said: “We know that our library service is highly valued by our residents, and despite a tough couple of years with significant reductions in budget, we have continued to grow this successful service.

“We have worked hard developing new and leading edge services in response to our local communities’ needs whilst continuing to get best value from our spending and by providing our services in more efficient and cost-effective ways.

“Being shortlisted for this award is a fantastic tribute to the enthusiasm and determination of our staff to ensure our library service is playing a key role in developing a love of reading in people of all ages; enabling those affected by unemployment and ill-health to access information services so free and supporting our communities to live happier, healthier lives.

“We have been determined not to close any of our libraries and despite major reductions in public spending, have not only maintained our large and predominantly rural network, but also created a successful and diverse 21st century library service with modern fit for purpose buildings, free wi-fi, ebooks and self-service technology.

“Through a combination of working together with our residents and partnership organisations, and thinking ambitiously and creatively, we have achieved fantastic results in both improving our libraries existing services and widening the offer our libraries make as important resources at the very heart of our communities.”

Winners of the Library of the Year awards will be announced at the Bookseller Industry Awards event in London on 13th May 2013.