Tuesday, August 20, 2013
A MAJOR transformation of Sidmouth Library will leave it shut for more than five weeks when work begins next month.
The six-figure Devon County Council (DCC) project to refurbish and improve the Blackmore Drive hub will see it closed from Thursday, September 12, to Wednesday, October 23.
Authority chiefs say alternative arrangements are being put in place to ‘minimise any inconvenience’ - including additional hours at nearby Ottery St Mary Library.
This will be open an extra one-and-a-half days a week on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10am to 5pm from Thursday, September 19, to Thursday, October 17.
DCC chiefs have promised that the new-look Sidmouth Library will have a ‘more flexible’ layout – so space can be ‘maximised for a wider variety of purposes and activities’ at different times.
There will also be improved access for children, young people and their families, including moving the children’s library from the first floor to the ground floor and creating a more attractive ‘teen zone’.
In addition, there will be a dedicated quiet reading and study area, and the ‘general ambience of the library will be improved by making it brighter and more welcoming to encourage visitors’.
Funding has also been set aside to purchase new stock for the library.
The council has pledged the choice of books will also be improved and a new layout for the shelving will make it easier to navigate.
Councillor Roger Croad, DCC cabinet member for communities, said: “I’m sure this revamp will turn Sidmouth Library into a modern and flexible facility that is fit for the changing needs of the community and that everyone wants to use and can be proud of.”
Mr Croad has also encouraged residents to ‘make good use’ of libraries in Honiton and Seaton during the closure in Sidmouth.