A TOWN'S libraries are among the best in the country, a survey shows.

A Government department has given Hartlepool library service an "excellent" rating, putting it in the top 15 per cent of towns in the UK.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport looked at targets, services and satisfaction levels among sections of the community.

The helpfulness of library staff was voted good or very good by 97 per cent of adult library users and 98 per cent of children, compared with the national target of 95 per cent.

Eighty-six per cent of adults and 82 per cent of children said they had been successful in getting information at the libraries, compared to 75 per cent nationally.

Library staff's knowledge won top marks from adults and children.

Librarian Susan Atkinson said: "We are delighted that all our hard work has been recognised, and we are particularly pleased with the public satisfaction rates."