A "FORGOTTEN" Hampshire library is being given a £360,000 facelift following claims that the building looks the same as it did 50 years ago.

The leader of Hampshire County Council, Cllr Roy Perry, has approved plans to give Totton Library a major makeover that includes self-service kiosks and a multi-purpose community room.

The ageing library will close for two months to enable the much-needed work to be carried out.

Cllr Perry said: “These new and refurbished facilities will bring the library right up to date – ensuring it's modern, vibrant and fit for the future.

“It's another example of our investment in buildings and technology to meet the changing demands of library customers.

"We're keen to help minimise any short-term inconvenience during the temporary closure and will be putting steps in place to provide library users with extended loan periods for their books and other items such as audiobooks.

"Library users will also have the option to use services online, such as access to e-magazines and e-books or from neighbouring libraries.”

The county council says the new self-service kiosks will enable customers to borrow and return items "quickly and easily".

Other improvements will include a new meeting room and a multi-functional community room that can cater for a wide range of activities. New carpets, double-glazed windows and updated furniture are also planned.

Totton councillor David Harrison has spent several years campaigning for the library to be upgraded.

He said: "I made the point to the council leader that of all the libraries in the county ours seems to have been forgotten and was much the same as it was some 50 years ago."

The library will close from February 19 and re-open towards the end of April.

Customers will be able to borrow a maximum of 30 books before the shutdown and will not be subject to any fines or charges during the closure.

Nearby libraries at Hythe, Lyndhurst and Romsey will remain open. The e-book and e-magazine service will also be available at hants.gov.uk/library.