There was understandably some caution when it was first announced that the old Bradford Central Library was closing due to ongoing issues with the building it was housed in, and would be rehomed in a new facility on Centenary Square.

For its obvious faults, the old library was a big, roomy building and an established home for the various services offered, which these days go far beyond books and encompass computer access, events, multimedia and more.

Now that the new City Library has opened, though, doubts can be assuaged. Despite being contained in a much smaller building, the new library makes excellent use of the space available and seems much bigger than it looks from the outside, with the upper storeys utilised well.

Now all that remains is for the people of Bradford to get behind the new library and support it to ensure its continued viability.

As we have seen across the country, libraries have become a victim of the squeeze on public spending, with local authorities opting to close them or reduce their hours to save money.

But there are few things today which are as valuable as the free services offered by a public library. A world of literature, reference and entertainment is available to any resident who takes the time to sign up for a library card.

No family should be able to hide behind the problem of cost when it comes to books, and there is no excuse for children especially not to be exposed to the wonders of literature.

We must treasure and value our library services and use this new facility – and all our libraries – to ensure their continued survival.