Library upgrade work to start in June

Joseph Bulmer

WORK will start next month on the refurbishment of Barnstaple Library by Devon County Council.

A new ground floor layout will see the removal of the existing large reception desk and several internal walls to create a much bigger, lighter, open space for library users, that can also be used for other events as well.

The work will include a new redesigned entrance, the installation of WIi-Fi technology, improved community meeting facilities, and better lighting across the ground floor.

New self-service technology has already been introduced in a number of libraries across Devon, with kiosks that allow people to check in and out their own books, CDs, and DVDs and make payments where necessary. This is enabling staff to be more available to help customers, rather than working more traditionally behind desks.

The work, to start on Monday, June 6 until Saturday, August 20, will only affect the ground floor, and so the library and building will remain open for the majority of the work.

The ouncil will be making changes to the layout in preparation for the work to begin, such as moving the books and shelving, so that the service can continue uninterrupted

Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member with responsibility for libraries, Cllr Stuart Barker, said: “This is wonderful news for Barnstaple, and follows on from the investment Devon County Council has been making in libraries and confirms our commitment to keeping them open. The refurbished library will create an improved space, which will not only be better for library users, but also for the wider community. The installation of new self-service technology will also mean that staff will have more time to help people choose books and find information.”