News Article

Bringing ideas, imagination, creativity and knowledge to enrich lives and build thriving communities

Celebrations to mark the opening of Ottery St Mary’s new library

Posted on 15 Feb 2017

Ottery St Mary’s much anticipated new library invites all members of the community for a sneak preview of the new facility between 4:30pm and 6:00pm on Friday 24 February before it opens for business on Saturday 25 February.

The new library will be in the former NatWest Bank building in the centre of the town. It is the first library to be opened by Libraries Unlimited, the new staff and community-owned social enterprise, established last spring with the support of Devon County Council.

From 10am on the Saturday, the library will welcome its first customers and local crime writer Graham Hurley, responsible for best sellers Finisterre, The Order of Things and Sins of the Father will be signing copies of his books.

Storyteller Ian Pearce will be reading extracts from Winnie the Pooh in a fun-filled event that will appeal to young children as well as the young at heart. Bring along your own bears, donkeys or piglets.

Refreshments will be available from the Friends of Ottery Library (FOOL).

The new library replaces the former facility in the Old Town Hall. As well as offering step-free access, the building has been fully refurbished and stocked with books, DVDs and audio books for all ages and interests.

There are comfortable reading areas and a bigger and better children’s library full of books and resources for learning and entertainment. Teenagers now have their own dedicated area with study space, lounge seating and specially selected books.

Businesses, community groups and the public can hire space for meetings or events and the library itself will be putting on a regular programme of special events.

Ciara Eastell, Chief Executive of Libraries Unlimited, said: “We’re thrilled that the people of Ottery St Mary will be enjoying these excellent new facilities. As a charity, our aim is to bring ideas, imagination, information and knowledge to people’s lives. The new library in Ottery has been designed for us to do just that.

“The public consultation held last year provided us with a lot of excellent feedback from the community and we now invite everyone to come and visit us and see for yourselves just what’s available in your modern new library.”

Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member with responsibility for libraries Councillor Roger Croad said: “The County Council set up Libraries Unlimited in April 2016 to provide Devon’s library service. This new library in Ottery St Mary will showcase how the Public Service Mutual is delivering new and innovative services across Devon.

“Congratulations must also be extended to Ottery Town Council for their vision and to the Friends of Ottery Library for their support.”

Libraries Unlimited will also be relocating libraries in Bampton and Chagford this spring.

Activities on Saturday 25th February are from 10am to 1pm.

On Saturday 18th March at 10:30am, there will be a ceremonial opening of the new Ottery St Mary Library with Julie Dent CBE, Chair of Libraries Unlimited and Councillor Glyn Dobson, Mayor of Ottery St Mary. All are welcome.

Libraries Unlimited believes…

…in the unlimited potential of library services to make a positive difference to people’s lives and communities through a shared love of reading and access to high quality information and facilities.