PROPOSED improvements at Penketh Library have been welcomed by local councillors.
Independent Parish Councillors Geoff Fellows and Christine Wych have given their full support to proposals after attending a meeting yesterday, with Livewire executives Eleanor Blackburn and Matthew Parker.
The exact extent of the work to be done isn’t finalised yet, but external work is expected to include repairs and repainting of the facias, window frames and door frames. Double glazing is not included. Internal gutters, which have caused leaks in the library, will be replaced with external gutters.
Some internal improvements were also discussed, including upgrading the workroom to make it a more useable space. A new PC layout to include a data point for public to use their own devices. Changing the shelving in the main library to a moveable type was considered. This would enable a large area to be opened up temporarily, which could be used for Friends Group activities. Use of space could be made flexible by having screens to section off community areas. A more accessible toilet is planned, but based on the current space. Some interior painting, replacement of blinds and carpet tiles, if needed, in areas where things are moved.
Re-flagging of the central courtyard patio area was also considered. Also, an area with comfy seating and coffee tables. Hopefully, this would encourage users to meet and engage with each other, therefore helping with social isolation.
All LiveWire libraries have friends’ groups that support users and activities to enhance the library offer and the Friends of Penketh Library affectionately known as FOPL are very passionate and proactive in securing the libraries future. FOPL was one of the first groups to be offered the presentation and have been approached to give suggestions and feedback to be taken into account for the plans.
There will be future temporary closures scheduled around contractor work but this is hoping to be kept to a minimum.
Cllr Fellows said: “Understandably the reopening of businesses and services must be taken slowly and safely, I look forward to the Library being open to the Penketh Community once more. I’ve asked for a notice to be advertised at the front of the building as soon as possible to notify those residents who are not frequent online users. Considering it has been many years since Penketh library saw any attention to its upkeep I’ve asked for more funding to come our way. It’s also reassuring to know that funds secured for the much-needed renovations will not impact the book stock replenishment scheme so new titles will continue to be introduced encouraging and increasing library visits.”
Cllr Wych added: “These plans will make greater use of space for such activities run by the library and FOPL, especially as we will no doubt be adhering to social distancing measures for some time to come. I would like to see a late-night opening return to the Library to be certain we are accessible to as many potential users as possible.”
By following the Government’s roadmap to recovery and monitoring the covid situation then Penketh, along with all other libraries are planned to re-open from Monday 12th April.