Looe Library transformation project starts

Work on an exciting project to transform Looe Library into a community hub will begin next week.

Following the renovation work the library will host the Town Council, Tourist Information Centre and an improved Library and Information Service with longer opening hours and additional activities for local residents.

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The work starts on 1 July and is expected to be completed in October during which time the library building will be closed to the public with alternative services provided. 

There will be regular visits to the town by the mobile library service every four weeks, beginning on 8 July, with further visits scheduled for 5 August , 2 September and 30 September.

On these days the mobile van will be parked at the small car park allocated to library users at the Millpool between 9.30am and 10.15am.  It will then move to Barbican Road for 10.40am where it will remain until 11am. 

Customers will also be able to borrow at least 30 books during the closure period and continue to have access to the RVS home library service.

There will also be a staffed ‘Click and Collect’ service based in the Millpool Centre on Tuesday and Thursday starting from Tuesday 9th July between 11am and 1pm. This will allow customers to collect reservations they have made. 

Customers can also collect reservations from the mobile van when it visits. If they miss the mobile their reservations will be taken to the Millpool Centre for collection on the allocated days. 

While the Information Service will not be available during the renovation works, Looe Development Trust have offered members of the public the opportunity to use their computers to access the internet to apply for jobs or check the Home Choice register during the closure period. 

Local residents can also contact the local Cornwall Councillors Armand Toms and Edwina Hannaford or members of the Town Council with any queries or concerns.

Looe Town Council took over the management of the Library and Information Service from Cornwall Council on 29 March under a new partnership agreement which saw the ownership of the building formally transferred to the Town Council. 

The arrangement means that the Town Council is now responsible for owning and maintaining the building and employing library staff, while Cornwall Council continues to provide the book stock and IT systems to enable county-wide access.

This means customers have kept their existing library cards and can visit, borrow and order books, CDs and DVDs from other libraries in Cornwall, as well as having continued access to online newspapers, e-magazines, e-Books and computers.

The arrangement is part of Cornwall Council’s Library Transformation Programme which has seen libraries devolved to town and parish councils or community groups to create sustainable services aligned to local needs.

Devolved libraries across Cornwall are showing improvements in service with longer opening hours, increased borrowing and more groups using the library as a community hub.

Mayor of Looe Councillor Martin Gregory said: “This is the start of an exciting new era for Looe Town Council. We have successfully secured the future of our library by taking over the responsibility for managing this much loved service from Cornwall Council. One member of library staff will be transferring to the Town Council and we are looking forward to working with the local community to discuss increasing opening hours and providing additional activities for library users.

Councillor Edwina Hannaford, Cornwall’s Cabinet Member for climate change and neighbourhoods, said: “As part of these works we are also planning to relocate the Town Council offices to the Looe Library later this year. It has long been one of our key aims to create a community hub where local people can access all council services under one roof.

“By basing both the Town Council and the Library and Information Service in the same place, we can ensure that our staff are trained to deliver all aspects of the library and council services, making it easier for people to access services.  It will also help us to save money on paying rent which we can then use to provide other services.”

The library will be closed to the public from 1 July, with the work due to be completed by 20 October 2019 .