New lease of life for Hythe Library thanks to partnership working
Thursday, 14 February 2013
Hythe Library has officially re-opened after a major refurbishment thanks to a collaboration between Hampshire County Council, Hythe and Dibden Parish Council and the Dibden Allotments Fund.
Representatives from Hythe and Dibden Parish Council and Dibden Allotments Fund joined Councillor Keith Chapman, Hampshire County Council's Executive Member for Culture and Recreation, for the ceremonial ribbon cutting and unveiling of a ceremonial plaque on Tuesday 12 February 2013.
Following the refurbishment, Hythe Library is now open an extra half hour each day, opening at 9.00am, and remains open all day on a Wednesday - increasing its weekly opening time by seven hours.
Hampshire County Council Executive Member for Culture and Recreation, Councillor Keith Chapman, said: "The official re-opening of Hythe Library is testament to the power of partnership working to help communities to help themselves. It is excellent that by working together we have been able to find a solution that meets everyone's needs and means the local people of Hythe can continue to use the library during the week and enjoy the enhanced facilities. Self-service machines are in place in a number of other libraries and Discovery Centres around Hampshire and in addition to being quick and easy-to-use, they help to free up staff to help customers with their enquiries."
Last year, Hythe library had been among 29 of Hampshire's 53 libraries and Discovery Centres earmarked to reduce their opening hours following cuts to County Council funding from Government. However, thanks to positive discussions between the three organisations, funding of over £166,000 has been provided to fund a raft of improvements to make the library more attractive to customers including extending the library's opening hours.
By installing self-service machines, customers can now borrow and return books themselves, in turn freeing up the time of staff to answer enquiries, maintain stock and provide fun and engaging activities for children.
Work at the library also included an interior makeover, to provide a fresh and rejuvenated feel for the building, an accessible public toilet has been installed, and a new community room built for learning and leisure activities within the library.