Library is the last word
The newly refurbished Aylesbury Library welcomed nearly 9,000 visitors in its first fortnight – and nearly 5,000 people a week are enjoying the new space.
The building has been completely remodelled into a modern and welcoming space with many new features including:
> A colourful, inviting new children’s space with sensory wall and ‘bubble tubes’.
> Better computing facilities with more power points for customers using their own devices.
> New self-service technology – so that customers can borrow and return books really quickly and easily.
> Refurbished toilets and a new baby-care area.
> A dementia-friendly layout.
> A new exhibition area and a new ‘well-being’ zone.
> Two new meeting rooms.
> Many new books and longer opening hours.
There are also some new developments, including tablets that visitors can use in the library and some new activities for adults and children.
There will be Bounce and Rhyme for youngest visitors and a Code Club for older children, plus for adults computer courses and a knitting club – to name just two available activities; see below for the comprehensive list.
Some days as many as 700-800 people have been through the doors. Visitors have been really positive, with comments such as:
‘What a fantastic new library,’ ‘lovely light and bright’, ‘an amazing, friendly place for children’ and ‘the space is so much more bright and welcoming.’
Noel Brown, the county council’s Cabinet Member for Community Engagement and Public Health, said:
‘I’m thrilled that we’ve had such positive feedback about the new library space. I know we can’t always please everyone all of the time, but overwhelmingly people have said they’re delighted, and I’ve personally really enjoyed seeing how people are enjoying the library in different ways, from studying, to reading, to playing in the new children’s area.
‘If you haven’t already come down to see what we’ve got then please make sure you check it out – we’ve got a full timetable of great regular events and activities, too.’
More details on the facilities and services on offer at Aylesbury Library are:
> Hublets: These are android tablets to use in the library for an hour with your library card. You can use them to surf the web, catch up on the latest news, use our eLibrary or check emails, facebook etc.
> Coming soon will be wireless printing for library users and the general public making printing from mobile phones and laptops possible.
> Regular activities for children will be Bounce and Rhyme sing-alongs on Tuesdays from 10am-10.30am starting on Tuesday February 26. The library currently has a vacancy for a Bounce and Rhyme volunteer which people can find out about on the BCC website by searching for ‘volunteer at a library’.
> Coding activities will be running during half term when there will be demonstrations of latest equipment, Monday February 18 at 2pm Code-a-pillars for four- to seven year olds; Wednesday February 20 at 2pm Micro:bits for eight- to 11 years olds. Spaces are limited for these so please visit and book a place before the day, people are advised.
> The library’s regular children’s Code Club and Chatterbooks sessions will be returning soon and people are urged to look out for details in the library and on social media.
> New meeting rooms are available to book and come in two sizes to accommodate groups from four to 16 people with separate rates for community or commercial organisations from £10 per hour.
> There is a gallery space for hire which can be used by local schools or artists to advertise their work.
> Activities for adults include a comprehensive five-week basic computer course called Learn my Way, a knitting group, Knit n Natter that meets once a fortnight on a Friday from 11am, the next meeting being Friday Feb 22. > > > A business drop-in session once a month on the second Wednesday from 11am to 1pm is confirmed for February and March.
> There is a newly refurbished, dedicated VIP computer terminal for the visually impaired and library staff are offering specialist advice for people wanting to use smartphones and tablets with visual impairment.