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Suffolk hands over control of its libraries

Suffolk today becomes the first council in the country to transfer its entire library service to a mutual organisation.

Responsibility for its 44 libraries will be handed to an industrial and provident society (IPS) which will work with community groups to increase opening hours. Judy Terry, the council's cabinet member responsible for libraries, said: "We've seen councils forced to close libraries to balance the books. The Suffolk model is the complete opposite."