Retford Library is to close next month as work begins on an extensive refurbishment project which should offer huge community benefits.
The library will close on Saturday, December 4, to undergo a total transformation which is expected to be complete in spring 2020.
Nottinghamshire County Council, its cultural charity Inspire, and contractor ARC Partnership plan to make the library more visible and accessible to the local community.
Inspire chief executive Peter Gaw said: “Retford is one of the county library service’s largest libraries and we’re really proud of the community and cultural hub that it has become.
“The new refurbishment, one of a long list of libraries refurbished by the county council over the last 10 years, will create a high quality and sustainable library which reflects the building’s heritage.”
He added: “Providing better access to the unique heritage collection and making better use of the outside spaces are key improvements customers will see when we re-open.”
The library has been at the heart of Retford’s educational and cultural life, since it was opened in 1927 by philanthropist and civic elder, TH Denman, but the council and its partners now see opportunity to make it fit for a new era.
Planned works inlcude better signage from Churchgate, shelving which is easier to navigate, and the creation of larger spaces for performances and cultural activities.
The local studies collection will be relocated downstairs into the main body of the library to allow easier access.
The children’s library will also be moved to the rear of the library to create a more bright and vibrant area for reading and activities.
Leading out from that area, the rear garden will also be improved with a new decked area and arden space.
While the library is closed, one of Inspire’s mobile library buses will be parking in Retford’s New Street car park on Saturdays, 9.30am to 12.30pm, December 14 until April 18, excluding December 28.
Library members will also be able to use any Inspire library across the county, with the closest being in Worksop.
Alternatively, they can make use of Inspire’s free digital collection of more than 13,000 audio books, 150 magazine titles and 10,000 eBooks.
Full details of how to access these can be found at www.inspireculture.org.uk/eresources.