What’s in a name?

What’s in a name?

The library services are thinking about possible names for the new community room spaces at the library, so will be coming up with some suggestions soon.

Can you think of anyone you’d like to see celebrated by having one of these new rooms named after them? If you have any ideas you’d like to share, please feel free to pop into the mobile library at Roger Ascham to write your thoughts down on a post-it note.

Favourite book?

Favourite book?

We have commissioned artist Nicholas Juett to create some bespoke artwork for the new Milton Road Library. Nicholas grew up nearby, attending Milton Road Primary School, and the library was an important space for him as a boy. He spent time sketching the old building before it was taken down and part of the new main painting will include book spines.

Nicholas would like to include some of the titles of the all-time favourite books of the people who will be using the library – so we want to know what yours is.

Please come to the mobile library at Roger Ascham to write your favourite book title down on a post-it note – who knows, maybe your favourite book will make it into the artwork!

Update on new library plans

Update on new library plans

The Friends of Milton Road Library have been actively supporting our local library since 2011 when we successfully worked with other Friends groups across the county to keep our local libraries open when threatened with closure by the county council.

Having won that battle it was discovered that there were structural problems with our Milton Road library and it was once again under threat of closure. As a Friends group we supported the County in developing plans for a more viable future and also worked to secure £100,000 from the City Council for providing community facilities in the new building.

We helped to carry out an extensive consultation including:

  • a paper and on-line questionnaire,
  • open meetings,
  • 3 surveys at Milton Road School of Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2 and Parents; and
  • a young persons’ group discussion

From this it was clear that there was great support for the library and for potential ways to develop it further as a hub for community activities. We were able to see more clearly how this municipal building might be open much more than the current 27 hours per week use as a library. It could be a more flexible place used much more of the time. A wide range of ideas emerged including:

  • offering a safe, accessible and flexible community space suitable for groups/services working with members of the community
  • spaces to host children’s parties, events for pre-school children and perhaps an after-school club,
  • A venue for local clubs and interest groups in the day and evenings, such as poetry sessions, book club, film club, and adult education classes for older people.
  • A café, information centre, art exhibitions etc

Members of the Friends have been a part of the County Council’s library steering group since it was established in 2016. Our aim has been to represent the needs of the community we represent and we are delighted that: 

  • the ground floor area will be fully accessible and as flexible as possible. Book shelving will be easily movable so that the main library can itself be adapted at times for different purposes.  Two community rooms will be provided and have moveable partitions so that they can form a bigger area or opened up with the library so that whole ground floor can be used for large events. Toilets and a kitchen will be accessible for all users of the building. 
  • The original portico has been retained and will be rebuilt to form the main entrance to the new building.
  • The library will have an area for children but also a separate area for teenagers with some of the computers located there and available for after-school study. The community rooms will have video screens and easily storable furniture so the rooms can be used a for a wide variety of purposes. 
  • The outside spaces will also be as welcoming, accessible and flexible as possible, offering a valuable and important community green space with mature trees in this area. The fencing will be lower and more welcoming than previously and we hope to use the garden for more events especially in summer months. 
  • During the project we were able to crowd fund for the wonderful set of hoardings around the site. The artwork for this came from the children at Milton Road School and was skilfully brought together by graphic artist Patsy Rathbone. When no longer needed around the site the hoardings boards will be given to the school but it is also planned to use elements of the artwork within the new library. 
  • The Friends have also commissioned the artist Nicholas Juett, who lives locally, to provide two new paintings for the new building to recall memories of the old buildings.
  • Plans are now being made to celebrate the opening and ensure the widest possible use for the new spaces as possible by our community.
New designs for library interior

New designs for library interior

Come and see the new designs planned for the library interior. Library Services are running a public engagement session on Saturday 24th November 2018 from 11:00-15:00 at the Roger Ascham Library Site.  This is a free drop-in event and all are welcome.

Story sharing with young readers

Story sharing with young readers

Our wonderful team of story sharers are volunteering again this term to read to small groups of reception children from Milton Road Primary School. The children will be walking across to the Milton Road Library bus with their teacher Mrs Bliss and clambering aboard to explore and share the wonderful story books in the collection. Many thanks to Marion, Jenny, Helen and Chris for their support.

The bus is our temporary provision whilst the building is redeveloped. It offers a surprising number of books and is open on four days of the week (see above for opening times).

A trip down memory lane

A trip down memory lane

Many thanks to Jannett Klinke for sharing these photos from the old building. So looking forward to seeing the spaces we will be opening up soon in our exciting new building.

Hot off the Press

Hot off the Press

So thrilled to see the display panels beginning to come off the press at Anglia Graphics! We can’t wait for them to be put up at the end of next week. The artwork looks fantastic, artist Jo Tunmer has done a great job in combining the drawings into a magical landscape. So so excited to see this taking shape.

We’ve found a printer!

We’ve found a printer!

Great news for a Friday afternoon! Huge thanks to the brilliant Anglia Graphics in Swavesey who’ve agreed to support our The Art of Reading project by printing the hoardings at a significantly reduced price. The project will now cost a total of £2,750 and having raised a magnificent £1,250 from 62 donors, as well as funds from the City Council and other sponsors, we’re just a few hundred pounds short of our target! Here’s a glimpse of what’s to come – one of the stretches of artwork created from some of the children’s drawings by the fantastic Patsy Rathbone! Do help us reach the target by heading to our Crowdfunding page if you haven’t already given!
Our JustGiving Crowdfunding page