The public library service for the County of Cheshire administered by the former Cheshire County Council since 1922 was mainly a book lending service to the more rural areas of the county with village library centres staffed by volunteers and later a mobile library service. Branch libraries served small towns and the suburban fringes of the larger towns with a student library postal loan service as support. Library services in most of the larger towns were run by the borough or urban district authorities, and in all there were eighteen library authorities in Cheshire by 1964. In 1965 S. G. Berriman, the former County Librarian of Middlesex, was appointed to the new post of Director of Libraries and Museums for Cheshire County Council, and with the support of an independent Library Committee, rather than a Sub Committee of the Education Committee, he proposed and achieved a massive development programme. Between 1964 and 1973 the face of the Cheshire Library Service was transformed as substantial money both capital and revenue was made available for the very first time and many new libraries were built. With the advent of local government reorganisation and the proposed changes to the shape of Cheshire that exciting developmental period was over, and Berriman decided to retire early as Director of Libraries and Museums to allow a new man to steer the service into the new Cheshire. Appointed in 1972, that man was Alex Wilson.
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