Commercial PhotographyTHE MAYOR of Stockton officially reopened Norton Library yesterday (Wednesday 7 January).

Councillor Barbara Inman, the Mayor of Stockton, cut the ribbon at the newly refurbished library on Norton High Street.

Norton Library closed for refurbishment in April last year as part of the Council’s changes to libraries across the Borough, a programme which has included investment in a number of new and improved branches.

At Norton, customers can now benefit from enhanced IT services, self-serve terminals and new book stocks. The refurbishment has seen the whole building upgraded with new shelving, furniture, computers and improved lighting, a refurbished dedicated meeting room and a new community health room for use by Community Health Services Library users.

Last year also saw Roseworth Library and Thornaby Library (Westbury Street) successfully move into nearby Children’s Centres and in recent months the Stockton Public Health Information Library has relocated from Bayheath House in Stockton. In Billingham, a new £2.7 million combined Library and Customer Service centre opened just days ago, on Monday 5 January.

During Wednesday’s ceremony the Mayor was also joined by Stockton’s Director of Public Health, Peter Kelly, to unveil a Stockton Heritage plaque commemorating Dr George M’Gonigle.

Dr M’Gonigle was Medical Officer of Health for Stockton Borough from 1924 to 1939 and was labelled ‘The Housewives’ Champion’ for his work in studying malnutrition and poverty. The plaque commemorating his contributions to public health has been installed at his former home, Sherborne House, on Norton High Street.

Councillor Inman said: “I am honoured to officially reopen Norton Library and unveil the distinctive heritage plaque. The library’s refurbishment has certainly transformed it into a 21st Century facility that will provide residents in Norton with a focus for learning, reading and leisure. I am sure it will be well used by the local community for many more generations to come.”

For more information on Stockton Borough libraries, visit www.stockton.gov.uk/libraries

Read the stories of Borough’s most prominent residents, including Dr M’Gonigle, on www.heritage.stockton.gov.uk