The new library has longer opening hours, more books and is bigger than both Thorpedene and Friars libraries which it replaces. It is located on the first floor of the Shoeburyness Youth Centre building with a lift and stairs so it can be easily reached by everyone.
Inside, it features a dedicated children’s area, books and materials for every other age group, DVDs, merchandise and lots more.
Cllr Graham Longley, Executive Councillor for Enterprise, Tourism and Economic Development says: “We are delighted to introduce everyone to the town’s newest library and we look forward to welcoming members of Thorpedene and Friars libraries. We hope they will very quickly feel at home in our new home, and that we will attract some new members too.
“The new library offers something for everyone, is easily accessible and centrally located. It will have a paid member of staff on duty at all times when it is open, and is also supported by our indefatigable team of trained volunteers and we are very grateful indeed for all their help.”
Every Friday from 10:30am will be a free Storyrhymes session for pre-school children, and there is a special treat scheduled for Saturday 3rd October as part of the Southend Children’s Book Festival. From 11am till 12:30pm on that day, celebrated children’s book illustrator, Chris Wormell will be staging a George & The Dragon drawing challenge.
Tickets for this event cost £3 each and can be booked via: http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/childrens-book-festival-chris-wormell-tickets-18289681931
Cllr Longley added: “It was key pledge of the joint administration to listen and we did just that, taking on board some concerns about the original library review that came about because of the need to make savings to address continued central Government cuts.
“That is why we completed a light touch review and came up with an altered plan that still sees the delivery of this brand new facility in Shoebury and an improved service in the east of the Borough, but also ensures paid staff manage all of the libraries across the Borough and the required savings are made. We will now continue to work to deliver the outcome of the library review.”
The new Shoeburyness Library has been installed in the existing Shoeburyness Youth Centre building, which needed to be remodelled inside to make it suitable.
Barrie Gibbard from local architects practice Ayshford Sansome who undertook this transformation, said:"Working with an existing building is always a challenge, however we are delighted with the outcome. The builBrading has lent itself well to this transformation and enabled us to create a very light, airy and relaxed environment for anyone who visits, uses or works at the library. We have taken great care to retain and where necessary to replicate internal features and fittings to ensure this new use integrates seamlessly within the existing building. The internal finishes have also been kept deliberately simple to act as a neutral backdrop to the book displays."
Opening times for the new Shoeburyness Library are as follows:
· Monday – 9am until 5pm
· Tuesday – 9am until 7pm
· Wednesday – 9am until 1pm
· Thursday – 9am until 7pm
· Friday – 9am until 5pm
· Saturday – 9am until 5pm
If anyone else is interested in finding out more about volunteering at local libraries, please call Toni Mair on 01702 215000, or visit: http://www.southend.gov.uk/libraries