EXTRA opening hours - and earlier starts - are set to be unveiled at 24 county libraries in East Lancashire and Chorley, it has been revealed.

Several principal libraries such as Accrington, Burnley Central, Chorley, Clitheroe, Colne, Nelson, Padiham and Rawtenstall will be throwing open their doors at 9am.

The same locations will open for an additional three hours per week.

County library chiefs say the reorganisation, set to be confirmed by Pendle East county councillor Mike Calvert, adult and community services cabinet member, without extra staffing costs.

Councillors have been told that the opening hours issue is one of the main issues continually raised by library staff during consultations.

And there is an expectation that more could be set to follow suit.

Richard Jones, adult and community services executive director said in a report: “This first phase of the opening hours review has identified the branches where sufficient staffing resources can be made available to open half an hour earlier in the mornings.”

Other libraries set to benefit include Bacup, Brierfield, Clayton Green, Clayton-le-Moors, Crawshawbooth, Earby, Eccleston, Euxton, Great Harwood, Oswaldtwistle, Rishton, Rosegrove, Whalley and Whitworth.

Only minor additional energy costs are expected to be incurred as a result of the move.

The larger libraries may still have certain sections which do not fully open for the first half-hour but the lending sections and a number of public computers will be available for use.