A new community-run library has opened in Peasedown St John, as part of Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Modern Libraries Programme, following 18 months of work.
The library will be run by more than 20 volunteers at St John’s Community Hall and will be open for 12 hours a week, stocked with 700 books for locals to enjoy.
Also available will be access to the ‘Click and Collect’ service which means that residents will be able to order and return books available from the LibrariesWest catalogue, as well as return books borrowed from other libraries. New library members can also be enrolled.
Cllr Karen Walker, Operations Manager for Peasedown St John Community Library, said: “After lots of preparation, consultation and hard work, our new Peasedown St John Community Library is open.
“I’m grateful to everyone who has put in so much effort to help us get where we are today. I’d particularly like to thank Cllr Sarah Bevan and Nathan Hartley, who have done a phenomenal amount of work behind the scenes to prepare for this new service to be launched for our residents.
“I’d also like to thank Cllr Karen Warrington, the former Cabinet Member for Libraries who helped instigate the project in February 2018, our sponsors – B&NES Council and Curo, and staff from the local authority who have been with us every-step of the way, in particular Helen Beckwith and Sara Dixon.
“And, finally, Peasedown’s new library wouldn’t be opening without our fantastic volunteers. Over 20 people have joined the team, enabling us to open our doors 12 hours a week, providing a range of information and resources for the public to enjoy.”
The library was opened on Monday 28th October, by bestselling author Adrian Tinniswood OBE, a visiting fellow in Heritage and History at Bath Spa University.
He said: “Every home should have books in it. Every community should have its own library. And everyone involved in this marvellous new initiative should be very proud indeed.”
Councillor Paul Crossley, cabinet member for Community Services, said: “Libraries not only provide access to a range of information and literature but they are also an important point of social contact, especially for people living in rural communities.
“This library will be a fantastic facility for Peasedown St John residents and I would like to thank the volunteers who have worked tirelessly to get the library ready for opening.”
The volunteers were awarded a grant of £5,000 by Bath & North East Somerset Council to fund the preparation for the library and the officers from the council’s libraries team have provided practical support. Curo has provided use of St John’s Community Hall free-of-charge.
The volunteers have also set up a new dementia-friendly, sensory garden outside of the library for visitors to enjoy.
The library will be open on Mondays from 1pm to 4pm, Wednesdays from 1pm to 7pm and Saturdays from 10am to1pm.
Other services include free access to the internet, tea and coffee making facilities and A4 photocopying/scanning services.
More information about Peasedown St John community library can be found at www.facebook.com/PSJcommunitylibrary.