Work begins in preparation for Town’s Library move

By Becky Brooks   |   Editor   |
Wednesday 14th February 2018 10:30 am
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The new layout for Midsomer Norton Library, which will be integrated within the Hollies Council building.

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Work to modernise and improve the Midsomer Norton Hollies Council building, which will soon be home to the town’s library, is about to get under way.

The Council says that following the consultation put to residents, the new-look library, when it opens at The Hollies, will have a wider selection of books and even more shelving for easier access – in a friendly and welcoming space.

There will be new technology for better access to a catalogue of more than three million items and a redesigned children’s area with comfy seating and fun, educational features.

Free WiFi, improved internet technology, improved access to printing, including wireless technology, as well as more comfortable seating and a quiet area to study, are also part of the new-look library, which will have more useable public space for events and creative workshops for the whole community to use.

From next Monday, 19th February, work will start at The Hollies and is expected to be completed in early June, with the vision being a modern, colourful, convenient and refreshed library and information service.

Councillor Karen Warrington (Conservative, Clutton), Cabinet member for Transformation and Customer Services, said: “We are bringing services together and really revamping Midsomer Norton’s One Stop Shop and Library to create a bright, well-resourced community space, which everyone can benefit from.

“The increased floor space available in the library, as a result of moving to The Hollies, together with the refurbishment and introduction of new technology, will guarantee a long-term sustainable future for the library in the town, as well as opening up new opportunities to regenerate the High Street.

“We hope residents will bear with us while the work is being carried out. In order to minimise any disruption, Housing Options and Citizens Advice appointments will still take place at The Hollies while other services will temporarily switch to the library.”

When Midsomer Norton’s refurbishment was announced last year, it seemingly received public support, alongside a commitment from the Council to regenerate the town centre.

The plans for integrating the Midsomer Norton Library and One Stop Shop are part of the Council’s ‘Modern Libraries Programme’.

Residents are being advised about the temporary closure of The Hollies while improvement work is carried out over the next five months.

The Hollies One Stop Shop in the High Street will close at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, 14th February.

From Thursday, 15th February, an interim service will be provided at Midsomer Norton Library, however, Housing Options and Citizens’ Advice appointments will still be held at The Hollies.

The toilets in the existing One Stop Shop will be unavailable for the duration of the improvements, although the toilet located in the library will be available to all.

The Council reports that in Keynsham, the combined Library and One Stop Shop has been a huge success, with a significantly increased footfall and rise in popularity, following similar improvements several years ago.