New community library opens its doors in Stanmore
Tuesday, 22 January 2013
Residents in Stanmore (Winchester) are now enjoying a brand new community library following Hampshire County Council's transfer of the former library to the nearby Carroll Centre.
The new community library service was officially opened at The Carroll Centre on 21 January 2013, by County Council Leader, Councillor Ken Thornber
In a unique move, the first of its kind in Hampshire, a library service is now run from The Carroll Centre on a day-to-day basis. Hampshire's Library Service continues to provide the Centre with books, regular visits and support from a member of staff from the Library Service, and resources including a self-service kiosk so people can issue and return books themselves.
The Carroll Centre is a well-used community building in the middle of Stanmore, in Somers Close. It is open five and a half days a week, and already offers many activities including after school and holiday clubs, youth sessions, parent and toddler groups, a children's centre and activities for children, young people and their families.
The move is the result of partnership work with the local community to safeguard a library service for the area following the closure of Stanmore Library in December as one of Hampshire's smallest, and least-used sites.
Hampshire County Council Executive Member for Culture and Recreation, Councillor Keith Chapman, said: "This is a fantastic result for people in Stanmore as it means they keep a local library on their doorstep. By working alongside The Carroll Centre, local community, and Winchester City Council we have been able to find a solution that meets everyone's needs. Not only will the library stay open more hours each week - an increase from nine at the former library, to now 25 hours at The Carroll Centre, but by moving it into an already thriving hub for community activity, more and more people can now use the services on offer, which go far beyond simply lending books."
Carroll Centre Manager, Jool Heller-Dixon, said: "We are very excited about being able to accommodate a library provision in our centre and to offer the Stanmore community a new style of library. The book stock will be located at the heart of our building and local residents and service users will be able to walk in and browse for books and magazines, sit and have light refreshments, chat with friends and join in new activities."
Winchester City Councillor Jamie Scott, said: "I have had close personal involvement in this project, and am delighted with this outcome. I hope that local people will be inspired come forward as library volunteers, and I appreciated seeing a great many Stanmore faces at the official opening enjoying a range of free activities for families."