SHIPLEY'S fully refurbished library re-opens today after a £640,000 facelift which has seen it closed for eight months.

Extensive works include roof repairs, new carpets, new heating and new lighting, including a re-designed exhibition area.

Meeting and conference rooms have also been repositioned and redecorated with the aim of encouraging more community groups to use them.

And the wide-ranging improvements also include new electrical and heating systems which will reduce future running costs and ensure more efficient maintenance of the building.

Additional social services provided by Bradford Council will also be moved into the town centre building on Well Croft in a move to centralise staff.

Shipley is one of the busiest libraries in the district, attracting nearly 300,000 visitors every year and this will be its first refurbishment since it opened in 1985.

And one of its biggest fans and most frequent users is 81-year-old Marie Spiwak from Wrose.

"I've gone to that library for 23 years and I was most disappointed when it closed last year, but I'm sure it's worth it.

"It's an invaluable place for people in Wrose, Shipley, and the surrounding districts and now I can't wait to get back into it.

"I'm particularly looking forward to being able to walk down corridors without buckets in them to catch the water!" said Mrs Spiwak, who is a member of the Sugarcraft cake decorating club which used to meet at library.

"I'm also looking forward to getting back onto the computers - which are very popular with the older generation as a way of learning all about new technology."

Library users will also be able to issue and return their own books and access their library accounts using the latest touch screen self-service counter.

The library will contain its own toilets for use by the public, but these will have to be accessed with keys available from its staff.

Phil Barker, Bradford Council's assistant director for sport and culture, said: "This refurbishment will not only improve the library for the many users but it will be more sustainable for the future.

"It is the first refurbishment of the library since it opened in 1985 and is one of the busiest libraries in the district attracting 284,000 visitors every year."

An official opening event will be held later in May with special events, presentations and activities for everyone to see the finished result in all its glory.