Residents of Shinfield will be able to access a wide range of books closer to home following the arrival of a new micro library in the village.
The self-serve facility has opened at the School Green Centre and will be available seven days a week. The decision to open the library came as a result of demand and growing population in the area, with Spencers Wood previously being the nearest library.
This is the first micro library to be introduced in Wokingham Borough, which is already served by larger branches in Finchampstead, Lower Earley, Spencers Wood, Twyford, Wargrave, Winnersh, Wokingham and Woodley. There is also a pop-up library in Arborfield, which is open from 9.30am to 12.30pm on Mondays and Saturdays.
The new micro library has around 2,000 books on offer from a range of categories for adults and children, including fiction, crime, history and fantasy. Residents are able to borrow and return books, but will need to visit one of the larger libraries for the full range of services.
It will make it easier for children at the nearby Shinfield Infant & Junior School, Shinfield St Mary’s Church of England Junior School and Alder Grove Church of England Primary School to access books, along with residents at Shinfield View and Parsons Grange care homes.
The School Green Centre is already the home of Shinfield Parish Council and Robyn’s Nest Café and the micro library will offer a better integration of services for residents.
An excellent addition to community hub
Cllr Sarah Kerr, the new executive member for climate emergency and resident services, said: “This is an exciting opportunity to improve access to services for the residents of Shinfield. This will be a lifeline for those who are unable to make it to our larger sites. We are also really enthusiastic about the prospect of being able to hold events at the library in the near future.
“The School Green Centre is already a hub for the community and the new library offer solidifies our commitment to giving residents – young and old – opportunities to get excited about reading. Although there is only a small percentage of books available compared to our other sites, I am sure this addition to the centre will be well received and a popular addition.”
Lots to offer at School Green Centre
Cllr Laurence James, vice-chair of Shinfield Parish Council, said: “We are absolutely delighted now that the School Green Centre is fully open, with seven rooms for hire, a café and now the new micro library. It has taken the enormous hard work of several councillors, all with the ambition to bring opportunities for sport, arts and leisure to Shinfield.
“The library has not been open long, but it is already going really well and there’s been lots of interest. On the first day, we had 70 books borrowed, which is a good start and we are planning to have all sorts of events and clubs there in the future. We will continue to work hard to bring assets like this to the parish to give opportunities to everyone. It is important to stress Spencers Wood Library is still open.”
The micro library, which is adjoined to the café, is open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Saturday and 10am to 4pm on Sundays. Visitors can borrow a book and take it home, enjoy reading it on the comfy seating inside the School Green Centre, or outside on the piazza.
Progress with our other libraries
Wokingham Library, currently based in Denmark Street, is due to relocate to the new Carnival Hub in mid-September. The council decided to keep the current library open for the summer so that families can continue to use it during the school holidays. The new library will have all the same facilities and there will also be an exhibition area and improved meeting rooms.
Meanwhile, plans to move Twyford Library to the old Polehampton Boys’ School have moved forward after the council’s executive agreed to complete a 99-year lease for the building. During a meeting on Tuesday 28 July, councillors also agreed to allocate the required funding for the project.
If you do not have a library card already, residents can apply for a temporary one and they can also download the Spydus app from the App Store and Google Play.
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