Best-Selling Author Opens the UK's Newest Library
|Published: 1st August 2011 11:56|
International bestselling author Kate Mosse officially opened Portsmouth's new library last Friday.
Mosse said: "It's a great pleasure to open this wonderful new library. Libraries are treasure troves of knowledge, of books, where a love of reading can take root and flourish.
"They belong at the heart of the high street and in a time when the principle of free and fair access to books is under threat in so many parts of the country, this is a wonderful and important statement of how important books are to Southsea and the wider community."
At a time when many libraries are under the threat of closure, Portsmouth is one of the few councils in the UK to open a new library.
What was once the old Woolworths store on Palmerston Road in Southsea has been transformed into a library, café and customer service centre providing advice and information on a wide range of council services.
With its striking interior, designed by local firm RBA, the building is everything residents can expect from a modern library. This includes thousands of books for adults and young people, free computer and internet access, an IT learning zone, community space for local groups and lots more.
The customer service centre will give residents access to information and advice on a wide range of council services, all under one roof. These include council tax, planning and even waste management.
The cafe will serve a range of coffees served by professionally trained baristas, handmade cakes and even a Woolworths themed pick and mix box for children.
Cllr Lee Hunt, member for culture, leisure and sport said: "At a time when many other councils are having to close libraries, here in Portsmouth we are investing in our library service."
"The new library is more than just a collection of books. It's an exciting environment to explore and discover, engage with the council or even just enjoy a cup of coffee and a slice of tasty cake.
"I am sure it will become a vibrant, dynamic focal point for the local community."
Southsea's existing library, Elm Grove, will relocate to the new library as part of the scheme.
For more information call 023 9268 8999 or visit www.portsmouth.gov.uk/learning/libraries.html