A CAMPAIGN to get people back in to libraries has been launched in Colne and Nelson.

The campaign features Lancashire library users on eye-catching billboards, posters, phone boxes, and buses, as well as the council's social media channels on Twitter, Flickr and YouTube to reach its target audience.

Both libraries will also be running a host of events to welcome in their local communities.

County Coun Mike Calvert, cabinet member for adult and community services, said: “We know that libraries are important to people's quality of life and are at the heart of local communities, which is why we are investing around £6.5 million in refurbishing our network of 74 libraries across the county.

“However, in spite of more than 6 million visits each year to our libraries we know that a quarter of people did not visit a library at all in the last year.

On market days both libraries will enlist the help of residents to identify old photographs of the local area, held by the library service.

Local schools will be visiting both libraries during the campaign to give pupils a chance to find out what's on offer and sign up as new members.

Both libraries are also holding witch-themed storytime events - on Wednesday mornings in Colne and Wednesday afternoons in Nelson - to tie in with the 400th anniversary of the Pendle witch trials.

Julie Bell, head of the library service, said: “Through this campaign we want to change the way people think about libraries. Books remain the backbone of what we do but today's library service offers so much more."

The campaign builds on a pilot run in West Lancashire in the autumn, which saw the number of new members increase by 35 per cent. In Skelmersdale, where much of the advertising was placed, new members increased by 92 per cent.