New look Yarmouth library opens
The people of Yarmouth are being encouraged to use a �1.3m transformation of the library as a means of bringing the community closer together. Users explored the new-look facility, which will host meetings of local groups, at the official opening of Great Yarmouth Community Library on Tolhouse Street on Saturday.
The people of Yarmouth are being encouraged to use a �1.3m transformation of the library as a means of bringing the community closer together.
Users explored the new-look facility, which will host meetings of local groups, at the official opening of Great Yarmouth Community Library on Tolhouse Street on Saturday.
Improvements include a greater selection of books, 42 computers with internet access, and a colourful Rainbow Room where children will be able to enjoy storytelling and activities.
Special guest Mel Hedges, 88, whose late husband Alf retired in 1974 after being borough librarian of Yarmouth for 28 years, said he would have approved of the modernisation.
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“It's really beautiful,” she said. “He wanted it to be part of the community with all the local groups holding their meetings there.”
Mr Hedges was responsible for overseeing the construction of the original library when it was built in 1962.
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The transformation of the library has involved a big input from local people, who asked for a more versatile and people-friendly building that could be used for different activities and events. They were involved in every aspect of the project, from the design work to choosing which new books should be stocked.
Now it is hoped that it will become focal point for the town, and particularly the surrounding Middlegate estate.
Michael Blank, treasurer of Middlegate Residents Association, said it was a library to be proud of, adding: “It's usual for the community to be consulted about these projects. We weren't consulted, we were involved.”
Among the modern facilities are a 120-seat lecture/function room which has stage and a partially sprung floor ideal for sports and leisure activities. There are also interview and meeting rooms, a large arts and crafts workroom, and galleries for displaying visiting exhibitions and artwork by local contributors. The exterior has also been given a facelift and the Tolhouse Museum can be accessed by a lift in the library.
Work on the transformation began in January after Norfolk County Council, which runs the library service, successfully applied for Big Lottery funding.
The council's chairman, Shelagh Gurney who performed the official opening, said: “This is such a wonderful community building. The refurbishment is first class and I hope local people make good use of it.”
Families from the town turned out to see the new-look library and take part in a day of activities to mark the event.