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Find out more about Burton Library's improvement scheme at April drop-in sessions

Posted on Wednesday 17th April 2024
Burton library 1

People can find out more about a £1.3million package of improvements at Burton Library at a series of informal drop-in events this month.

The project will see the transformation of the library space for people of all ages and various community groups.

An allocation of £265,000 was secured from the Government’s Libraries Improvement Fund with Staffordshire County Council investing the remainder.

The funding will support the improvement of the library service in Burton with better space for enjoying books and many other social and learning activities. It follows investment at libraries in Lichfield, Tamworth, Stafford and Newcastle.

The coffee drop-in events will take at Burton Library on Wednesday April 24 between 10am and midday and then 1pm to 3pm and on Thursday April 25 between 3pm and 6pm.

Further information about the project, including frequently asked questions can be found on the Burton Library webpage.

After engaging with library users, the Burton library team found that people would like to see space for cultural enrichment, a place where there are opportunities for creativity, learning and socialising and improved digital access.

The refurbishment will involve repurposing the ground floor of the library into a vibrant, multi-purpose, accessible and inclusive space.

Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet member for communities and culture Victoria Wilson said:

We want these exciting improvements to the library space to reflect the wishes of the community and have worked these into the overall plans. We’d encourage people to come to one of our informal drop-in sessions at the library, speak to the team and find out more.

It’s important that it will be a welcoming environment for all ages and for people with a wide range of learning and social requirements. It’s flexible and multi-use design means we can reach the most people and get the very best out of the space for years to come.

This is a significant amount to invest which is great news for the library and wider community, but we are hope people understand we still need to be realistic to what we can deliver with the budget.

While work is being carried out, we will need to put some temporary arrangements in place but want to reassure people that alternative provision will be available, which will be widely publicised.”

The refurbishment will include a flexible creative area for social activity and community learning which could be used by a range of groups and learning providers.

Another area will support community wellbeing, offering quiet space for those needing to escape from noise and sensory overload. Two sensory nooks will be created – one for teens and adults to relax, read or listen to audio where there will be low lighting and fibre optic light panels and a children’s space with interactive elements and sensory equipment.

A new children’s area will reflect the surroundings of the Washlands on the library doorstep to provide a connection with the local area. It is planned to create a bespoke children’s library feature depicting nature, with enclosed reading areas and integrated book displays.

And a flexible space for events and activities is planned, potentially able to seat 30 people in a theatre style, with an interactive digital display screen so that films, archive and heritage footage and live-streamed programmes could be shown.

Wherever possible sustainable materials will be used, together with reused or recycled furniture. The improvements will also include refurbished toilets and a new ceiling.

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