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St Thomas Library will reopen in its temporary new home before Christmas

Posted on 08 Dec 2023

Outside view of Emmanuel Hall, St Thomas Library new temporary homeSt Thomas Library will reopen in time for Christmas in its temporary new home at Emmanuel Hall, Emmanuel Road, on Monday 18th December at 10am.

The former library building in Church Road closed on Saturday 21st October after its lease was not renewed.

A new lease was offered at an increased rent, but Devon County Council decided it was unaffordable.

The pop-up library in the Emmanuel Hall will deliver many popular community services until a new permanent home is found.

These facilities will include book browsing and borrowing, a supply of children’s books, baby weigh facilities, bounce and rhyme group for babies and toddlers, and a community space.

Devon County Council and Libraries Unlimited are still searching for a permanent home for the library.

Anyone who wants to suggest a new location can do so on Devon County Council’s Have Your Say webpage.

Book loans will continue to be extended for St Thomas Library customers until the library moves to its new temporary home. Books can also be returned or borrowed at Exeter Library.

Exeter Library will be closed over the festive period from 24th December until Tuesday 2nd January for maintenance and cleaning.

Councillor Roger Croad, Cabinet Member for Public Health, Communities and Equality, said: “I’m pleased that St Thomas Library, a vital community resources, has a new home albeit a temporary one and my thanks go to Theatre Alibi whom we will be sharing the building with.

“We are committed to finding a new permanent home for the library and if anybody in the community has any suggestions for a new permanent location, we would love to hear from you through our Have Your Say webpage.”

Councillor Rob Hannaford, the local councillor for Exwick & St Thomas, said:  “It’s really fantastic news that our much loved and valued community hub, St Thomas Library has now found a new temporary home. Indeed, it’s like an early Christmas present for our concerned local residents.

“Maintaining a physical constant presence in the West Exe is very important, as we feared it could be lost. I would encourage local people to please use this facility as much as possible, because footfall and user numbers continue to be very important. Thank you to Devon County Council and Libraries Unlimited for their ongoing support. Also, a huge heart-felt thank you to our wonderful St Thomas Library staff, and volunteers for all their hard work, dedication and forbearance during these challenging times.

“In the New Year, we will all come together to refocus on a new permanent home for our Library.”

St Thomas Library Supervisor Zoe Woodbridge said:  “We’re delighted we’ve found this temporary home so we can continue to serve the vibrant community of St Thomas. We’ve had so many kind words from our loyal customers at this difficult time, and we’re very pleased to be able to get up and running again and see them all in person.”

Libraries Unlimited Chief Executive Alex Kittow said:  We’re actively continuing to search for a new location with both Devon County Council commissioners and Exeter City Council, and we reiterate our call to any landlords in the community to get in touch if they can offer us a suitable space. We want to continue to reassure people that they have not lost their library and we’re doing all we can to find it a new permanent home. Libraries are the warm, welcoming heart of their communities, and St Thomas is no exception.”

Debbie Bucella, CEO of Theatre Alibi said:  We’re delighted that the lovely team of St Thomas library will be joining us here at Emmanuel Hall. It’s a huge step towards transforming our building into a thriving community space which places children’s imagination and creativity at its core. We can’t wait to collaborate on many exciting and inspiring projects over the coming months.”

If you are interested in helping to provide a library service in St Thomas, whether a temporary pop-up in the short term or a longer-term solution, please fill in the Devon County Council  engagement form.

We also offers nearly a million digital eBooks, eNewspapers and eMagazines at

You can contact the library via phone on 01392 407061 or email at

The opening times on 18th December will be 10am to 5pm and thereafter:

Monday 9am – 5pm
Tuesday 9am – 5pm
Wednesday Closed
Thursday 9am – 6pm
Friday 9am – 6pm
Saturday 9am – 1pm

Christmas Opening

Monday 25th – Thursday 28th December – Closed
Friday 29th December – Usual opening hours
Saturday 30th December – Monday 1st January – Closed
Tuesday 2nd January onwards – Usual opening hours

For more information about St Thomas Library go to: St Thomas Library – Devon (

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.