MORE public libraries in County Durham are to extend weekend opening hours to meet demand.

From this weekend, libraries in Chester-le-Street, Stanley, Spennymoor and Crook will be open from 9am until 4pm on Saturdays.

They join Durham County Council's other centres that are already open during afternoons - Barnard Castle, Bishop Auckland, Consett, Peterlee and Clayport in Durham City.

All remaining libraries in the county will open from 9am until 1pm on Saturdays.

Patrick Conway, the council's director of culture and leisure, said: "We've been actively developing library services over a number of years to make them more appealing to our users.

"People never shy away from telling us that they want to use their library at weekends and this is a way of responding to that demand.

"It's a fact that more people visit a library than go to a cinema or even a football match and they all have busy lives, especially families where both parents are working.

"Extending our Saturday opening hours in each part of the county gives whole families, from babies to grandparents, an opportunity to visit together."