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Kesgrave Library celebrates 10 years in permanent building

09:00 01 February 2016

Members of staff and Kegrave Library Community Group celebrate the 10th birthday of Kesgrave Library.

Members of staff and Kegrave Library Community Group celebrate the 10th birthday of Kesgrave Library.

From modest beginnings in a portable cabin serving just a handful of residents to the thriving and fully-fledged service it has become, Kesgrave Library has undergone something of a transformation over the years.

But on Saturday, staff, volunteers, residents and book lovers came together to celebrate the library’s 10th birthday at its permanent home in Kays Close.

Dozens came along to celebrate the occasion, including residents and councillors from the community and members of the Kesgrave Library Community Group for a special presentation and cake-cutting.

Liz Ditton from the community group said: “Certainly with the community group it has been looking at meeting community needs a lot more – particularly families – and it has established an excellent reputation because all the events are free.”

Since the library’s move from its portable cabin in 2006, staff have been able to house more books, lay on more events and provide a greater range of services.

Among some of the successes staff hailed were the take-up in Sunday craft activities, with nearly 1,400 children taking part in craft activities last summer, and 275 youngsters completing the Summer Reading Challenge last year.

And as part of the 10th anniversary celebrations, the library is keeping a scrapbook of memories, including favourite pictures and newspaper cuttings of key occasions.

Maggie Lusher, who has been the library’s manager for the last two-and-a-half years, said: “It has been wonderful that so many have come to help us celebrate Kesgrave Library’s 10th birthday.

“We have got lots of my volunteers, staff, people who have given us grants and customers, so it is nice to be able to give back to them.

“What I am most proud of is how many children we have got reading in the last year, and we are already planning more this year.”

For this year, the library has targeted two key priorities in refurbishing the interior, and launching an outreach project to continue promoting children’s literacy at least once per term.

Mrs Lusher added: “We are trying to go out to the local nurseries and primary schools to promote literacy, reading and use of the library.

“Suffolk Community Foundation have given us a grant to able to go out and take books with us, so it is exciting.”

Weekly events such as Tot Rock and Baby Bounce have helped draw more people into the library, and even prompted it to extend its opening hours to accommodate more users.

Tony Brown. chairman of the Suffolk Libraries board praised staff’s forward-thinking and enthusiasm, and hailed its place as a hub for the community.

“We on the board are aware of how incredibly hard the staff and community group work here in Kesgrave, and it is seen as an example for the other 43 libraries we have in how effectively staff and volunteers work together to make the library what it aught to be – a vital hub in the community.

“We also hear stories of events where we haven’t got enough space to accommodate everyone, so it is great to be here.”

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