Councillor Alan Kerr, Deputy Leader of South Tyneside Council with responsibility for culture and leisure, said: “Hebburn Central is going to be a real focal point for the local community and the library will provide a superb facility for residents of all ages.
“As well as expanding our stock of books on the shelves, we have invested in the latest hi-tech equipment, including an interactive touch-screen viewer and a digital microfiche scanner.
“We will have digitised local materials, including maps and local heritage photos.
“Family and local history is extremely popular at the moment and having these materials available digitally makes them much more accessible – for example, a Hebburn resident won’t have to travel to South Shields to view a map.
“The beauty of modern technology, such as self-service machines, is that it frees up staff to be able to help and advise customers.”
There will also be a host of new services, such as online joining; twice the number of People’s Network computers and two Xbox stations.
Cllr Kerr added: “We are committed to providing outstanding libraries even in times of drastic funding reductions, and Hebburn is no exception – there will be something for everyone.
As well as the library, the two-storey building will include a six-lane swimming pool, a learner pool, fitness suite, sports hall, dance studio, soft play area, learning centre and cafe, as well as meeting rooms and a customer service centre.
Construction is ongoing and is on schedule for completion in late spring of 2015.