Plans for new town library

A NEW state-of-the-art library could be built in Worksop if council chiefs can find a suitable site.

Money has been earmarked in Notts County Council's 4.25 million capital budget for a possible new library for Worksop.

The money has been allocated for building projects across Notts and this week the council confirmed a shiny new Library for the town was on their 'to do' list.

"We are in consultation with Bassetlaw Council to find a suitable site," said a spokesman for the county council.

"And we hope that within two years there will be a new library in Worksop, but it is not certain yet because we need to find the right site."

Bassetlaw Council owns the listed building on Memorial Avenue, which contains the library and tourist information centre, but the county council has responsibility for running the library.

The current building replaced the public library and technical school on Watson Road and opened in 1938.

County council bosses claim a new library is needed because of the current building's size, condition and elderly design.

"The existing library is small. We need significantly more space to deliver services expected of a library in the 21st century. The Government's blueprint for libraries over the next five years could not be delivered from this building," said the spokesman.

"It is also in a very poor physical state and would require a vast sum spending on it to bring it up to anything like good condition. The very nature of the building results in a grossly inefficient use of space as it has lots of rooms off corridors and so on."

Worksop librarian Peter Collins said the prospect of a new library was "incredibly exciting".

"If the new library reflects the desire we have here to provide a good service, it will not only be the best library in the country – it will be the best in the world," he said.

"The people of Worksop have the best staff of any library I have ever worked in, and they have a passion and commitment that has to be seen to be believed."

"A new library building would give us the chance to re-focus our attentions and make sure we are giving the Worksop public exactly what they want."

Mr Collins said although the current building was 'a symbol', a new building in a more central location would benefit the town.

"It would be nice if we could move closer to the town centre in order to be a little more accessible by public transport," he said.

"The new library could have more shelf space for books, a larger local studies area, and possibly noisy and quiet areas for teenagers and different groups of users."

"One of the things people are telling me they want is an area to relax and read in, possibly somewhere that serves refreshments, which is something we don't have at all at the moment."

"Any new library would be built after extensive public consultation so we know exactly what the people of the town want from their library."

Roger Ranson, the council's head of economic development and tourism, said the plans were in their infancy.

"At the moment we have only had one meeting with the county council about the future of Worksop Library," he said.

"We have not yet talked about where a new library could be sited, but we would obviously want it to be as accessible to all sections of the community."

"As for whether that would mean it was nearer to the town centre or further away I couldn't comment on because it has not yet been discussed."

"It's also too early to say what would happen to the old building but the first option would be to see if it could house some other council operation."

One library user Peter Simpson, of Carlton, said: "This building is no masterpiece and I don't think it would be any

great loss if it was knocked down."