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

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

Barnard Castle, Bishop Auckland, Consett, Peterlee and Clayport in Durham City are already open in the afternoon. Other libraries in County Durham will open 9am to 1pm on Saturdays.

Patrick Conway, the council's director of culture and leisure, said: "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."