Raunds library has re-opened for business under the management of the local community with a special ribbon cutting by Arthur Keen who was first in the queue for a good read.
Following the review of county library services and the closure of all library buildings due to COVID restrictions, Raunds library is now operating under the management of a charitable trust. The trust has worked with Northamptonshire County Council to set up a tenancy arrangement to allow the trust to start delivering valuable services again. This is a temporary arrangement until a permanent solution on the lease of the library building is finalised.
The library is now COVID-secure and ready to welcome visitors, with assistance services given free of charge by Winvic Construction Ltd., NIC Services Group, Whitings Landscapes and Diversey PLC.
The trust has also secured funding from the Community Facilities Fund grant from East Northamptonshire Council to upgrade the library lighting. This work will be undertaken once the permanent lease arrangements are in place.
Peter Wathen, Chairman of the Raunds Library Trust, said: “We’re so pleased to re-open the door and welcome the community back to this much-loved asset.
“At the moment, we’re only able to provide a limited service but we hope to widen the offer, depending on COVID restrictions. We can, however, offer the most important service for any library and that’s book lending - who doesn’t love a good story?
“We would like to thank everyone who has worked hard to make this happen, especially the volunteer residents who joined the rota to staff the building, local businesses, Northamptonshire County Council and East Northamptonshire Council. This has truly been a team effort.”
East Northamptonshire Council Leader, Steven North, added: “This is a tremendous achievement for Raunds and we’re delighted to play our part by helping with new lighting for the building through our Community Facilities Fund.
“I look forward to seeing this valuable asset being enjoyed by the town again.”
Cllr Lizzy Bowen, Deputy Leader of Northamptonshire County Council, said:
“I am pleased an interim solution has been found to allow for the immediate opening of the library, whilst the permanent solution is finalised. Huge thanks to the sponsors who assisted in getting this up and running. In the current times, it is good to see everyone pulling together.’
Try one of the lending services available now for your convenience.
‘Browse & Borrow’ if you’d like to see what’s new on the shelves. You don’t need to book but you will need to follow all COVID-secure guidance whilst in the building. A maximum of four visitors are allowed in the library at a time so for those in a hurry or not able to attend on Browse and Borrow days, try the ‘Call & Collect’ service. Call the library on 01933 623747 to reserve your chosen books and arrange a day and time to collect them from the door. Finally, the ‘Library to You’ service delivers books to those who are housebound. This service was originally intended for those who are restricted to their home through disability, but now has a new role providing a service to those who are shielding due to Covid-19.