Over recent weeks, the library on Osborn Road has undergone refurbishment, together with the provision of new facilities such as coffee shop, study booths, reading pods and a chalk wall for children, plus technology offering visitors the chance to learn, make and explore in innovative ways.
Hampshire County Council’s Executive Member for Culture, Recreation and Countryside, Councillor Andrew Gibson, attended the opening on 10 July 2017, along with Kathy Settle, Chief Executive of the National Libraries Taskforce, members of the public, library staff and local community representatives.
Councillor Gibson said: “Fareham Library is a great example of the County Council’s commitment to expanding the range of services on offer at our libraries, for all ages, and ensuring that our buildings are modern and fit for purpose. Popular services such as book borrowing, public computers and activities will remain key features of the library, yet at the same time, customers will notice a new space – the Makery.
“The Makery is a versatile area offering IT, coding tools and equipment, in which library visitors can learn and explore, design and create through robotics, software and virtual reality.”
Councillor Gibson added: “Our aim is to help customers develop new skills so that they can be more digitally aware and confident in using new technology as it becomes a more prominent part of our everyday lives. We hope the new facility will also hold a broad appeal for entrepreneurs young and old.
“Study pods with mains and USB charging points for quiet study, and an iPad bar have been introduced, as well as two new community spaces which are available to book for small meetings, events or consultations by partner organisations across the charity, health and wellbeing sectors.
“Meanwhile, at the heart of the library is a wonderful new coffee shop – a perfect social and meeting space.”
Kathy Settle, Chief Executive of the Libraries Taskforce who was a guest at the opening, said: "It's great to see so many of the things we talk about in our Libraries Deliver: Ambition for Public Libraries in England document lived out for real here at Fareham Library. It's fantastic to see Hampshire Libraries at the forefront of keeping their libraries fresh and up to date, to deliver what their citizens want and to make the library the thriving heart of the community."
The works are part of a commitment made within the Library Strategy to reinvest £500,000 a year from the Book Fund until 2020 into achieving improvements to library buildings and technology.
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