Aylesbury to get a library for 21st century
The green light has been given to plans for a state-of-the-art library for Aylesbury. Buckinghamshire County Council Cabinet have approved plans to integrate the lending and reference libraries at a cost of £366,000.
But before detailed plans are drawn, the County Council is inviting residents to help shape the way the new library will look and feel, its layout and design.
The design team will be at four exhibition events in August and September to meet library members and residents, discuss the outline plans on show, and seek feedback and suggestions.
Noel Brown, Cabinet Member for Community Engagement and Public Health, said: "Our aim is to give Aylesbury a library fit for the 21st century, and in a prime position in the town centre. Our plans aren't cast in stone, which is why we want people to feed into the design team's ideas."
Noel said that converting the existing lending library space into a multi-purpose study centre, reference and lending library would give Aylesbury well-designed, state-of-the-art facilities that would include:
- Improved access to study centre resources
- A new teenage area
- An improved children's section
- Longer opening hours
- New meeting rooms
- More advanced technology
- Better toilets and baby-changing area
Better use of space would involve removing reception desks, providing self-service points, and using the library's columns for computer work stations. It would also make room for a flexible public meeting space that could be used as extra study area capacity at busy times.
"We're in a prime position and this is a golden opportunity to provide a high quality shop front not only for a modern library but also for County Council services," said Noel.
"I'm very excited about this project. It demonstrates our commitment to modernising library services to make them fit for the technological age in which we live, to inspire new generations of users, and to create a community hub that helps our residents to connect well with the County Council."
Work on the conversion, which will save the County Council £87,000 a year, is due to start early next year and be finished in April.
IN THE PICTURE: Noel Brown: giving Aylesbury a library fit for the 21st century