Cambridgeshire County Council is set to reopen Milton Road Library following a complete rebuild and refurbishment of the site.
Work on the new library is on budget and with the building set to open its doors to the first customers on Monday 24 June the project is on schedule and progressing well.
The new building, which has retained the original stone portico at the entrance to the library, now includes two new flexible community spaces for meetings, a kitchen for event use and an accessible garden area. The library also benefits from public PCs, free Wifi, study spaces, self-service facilities for issue and return of items and a bright new children’s area.
Following consultations with residents and local groups, including the Friends of Milton Road Library, the library service has worked extensively with the community, including children and young people, to encourage them to think about what a library means to them, what it should offer for local people, and also the books they would like to see in the library when it opens - which has resulted in a special bespoke, community-curated collection.
A week of events will take place at the end of this month to celebrate the reopening. The six day celebration will kick off on with an open coffee morning and performance of the film ‘The Other Cambridge’, organised by the Friends of Milton Road Library. Chesterton Community College String Quartet will be performing in the afternoon on the Monday, and there will be chance for visitors to drop in and explore the library all week as well as join the library, choose, renew or return books.
Library staff will be on duty each day for this re-opening week, welcoming visitors to the library. Library opening hours will revert to those advertised on the library website, after the opening week.
There will be coffee mornings, drop-in sessions and afternoon tea each day. Other highlights include a choral concert by Milton Road School, two one-hour introductions to coding for children, a lunchtime networking event by the new Business & Intellectual Property Centre Cambridgeshire for those wanting to start or grow their business, plus the chance to drop in and renew your bus pass on Tuesday in the morning and afternoon. Some of the first local visitors invited by the County Council to explore the library will be the Milton Road Primary School Council members, and students from Castle School.
The week of community-organised celebrations will finish with a Garden Party on Saturday. The full schedule of events including times for book review drop ins, Storytime with rhymes for the under 5s, Knit & Natter, poetry evening, and an author event with Alison Bruce plus much more can be found on the Friends of Milton Road Library website.
Councillor Steve Criswell, Chair of Cambridgeshire County Council’s Communities and Partnership Committee said: “We’re very much looking forward to re-opening to the public this month, with an official launch to follow later this year, and hope that the public will take the chance to drop in and explore the new library and community space. We promise a warm welcome to anyone interested in discovering more about what is on offer from their local library.
“Libraries across the UK are facing increasing pressure from budget cuts, but the refurbishment of Milton Road Library shows that we’re committed not only to our libraries but also to ensuring that we provide modern, state-of-the-art facilities for the local community to use.”
An official opening will take place in autumn this year, but in the meantime the library is open to the public from Monday 24 June and residents are encouraged to drop in and explore the new facilities.
Milton Road Library opening times for the opening week (24-30 June 2019) will be:
- Monday to Friday 09:00-18:00
- Saturday 10:00-18:00
- Sunday closed