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Plans for new community library go on display in Ottery St Mary

Posted on 28 Sep 2016

Plans for the layout of a new Ottery St Mary library have gone on display for a two-week public consultation period.

Libraries Unlimited, the social enterprise responsible for running Devon Libraries, is inviting members of the public to view the plans and provide feedback by 7th October.

The library will be moving to the former NatWest bank building. The relocation of the library will significantly improve accessibility, offering step-free access, and will provide a bigger and more modern space for the new facilities on offer. The move also means the library will be closer to the town centre and provide a flexible space for hire and events.

The newly revealed plans set out the proposed new layout, giving residents a glimpse of how their new library will take shape. The plans have been informed by a public consultation event held by the Friends of Ottery Library earlier this year. Libraries Unlimited have since been gathering together the suggestions from customers to help inform the new layout.

The consultation is being held in the current Ottery St Mary Library during normal opening hours from 26th September to 7th October. Residents are being encouraged to visit the library to have a closer look and leave their feedback and ideas, or to email

On Friday 30th September, Pauline Anderson, Service Delivery Manager and Anna Matthews, Project and Programme Manager, both for Libraries Unlimited, will be at Ottery St Mary Library between 12noon and 2pm to discuss the plans with members of the community who have any questions or suggestions.

Inside, the new library will benefit from a greater selection of books and more spacious reading areas. The library will continue to provide a mixture of fiction, non-fiction, large print and spoken word as well as DVDs.

A bigger and better children’s area will boast more books and provide tables and chairs for reading and crafts as well as a computer and soft seating for children and their carers. There will also be a dedicated ‘Teens’ Zone’, with specially selected books for young people and soft seats to lounge on.

The library will continue to offer free Wi-Fi to users as well as having a selection of computers with internet and Microsoft Office available for public use. A new community events and function room with flexible layout will also be available for public hire for businesses or community groups.

Ottery St Mary Town Council will have a base in the library to provide local information and new public toilets provided by Ottery St Mary Town Council, including an accessible toilet, will be adjacent to the new library.

Ciara Eastell, Chief Executive of Libraries Unlimited said: “This is a really exciting time for us and for the town, which has been in need of a new library for some time. We are really pleased to be able to invite members of the public to come and have their say on how they would like their new library to look and operate.

She continued: “These current plans have taken into account previous public feedback and as a social enterprise it’s our aim to deliver a welcoming, modern new library that meets the needs of its users. The relocated library will not only have greatly improved accessibility for those with reduced mobility and bringing children with pushchairs, but it will also offer better facilities for all visitors. We hope that the new and improved services will encourage even greater usage of the town’s library by all ages.”

In a bid to improve library services across the county, Libraries Unlimited has also announced that two other libraries will be relocated to more suitable premises in the coming months, at Chagford and Bampton.

For more information on the relocation of Ottery St Mary Library please email or you can telephone 0345 155 1001.


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.