by Ruth, Marlene, and Steve on 22 March, 2018
Ruth, Marlene and Steve were given an early tour of the refurbished Sutton library, which will re-open as planned on 9 April. The refurbished library shows the Lib Dem Council’s commitment to Sutton Libraries. It will make much better use of the space, improve accessibility for all customers and draw in younger people by making use of new technology. It will also have a modern, safe environment with a brighter décor, which should be appreciated by existing users and encourage new audiences.
Book stock is being refreshed and upgraded ICT facilities will be attractive to students of all ages. The changes will allow some space to be made available for non-library use, which will bring in extra income. Income generation is really important now in the face of the continuing Conservative austerity cuts so that we can protect the library service.
The main fiction collection will now be on the ground floor – where the Europa gallery was – so that the books will be the first thing people see when they come into the library. The new children’s library will be fantastic. It will have tablets and PCs for the children to use. It will be next to the café, and the area on the other side to the café will be a new family area. There will be new public toilets (including facilities for children and baby changing). This will all create a much livelier feel to the ground floor.
The first floor will have the non-fiction collection together with the community area – spaces that local community groups can use. The second floor will house the new Europa Gallery – future bookings for the new art and exhibition gallery are already looking very good – together with a Family History Centre, more study space, and the Business Zone.
The book stock is being reviewed. Many books on the display are rarely read, so the new displays will focus on what library users want. There will still be access to 6 million books via our membership of the London Libraries Consortium.
Says Marlene: ‘Having toured the new areas and seen the plans, I can’t wait to see it all when it opens in early April. It shows our commitment to improving reading for youngsters and providing facilities for those who don’t have the internet at home.’
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