Rushmere library saved from closing down

The Rushmere pop up library will be reopen later this month

The Rushmere pop-up library will reopen in May 2021. - Credit: Simon Lee Photography

The only library in northeast Ipswich will be able to continue its activities as the service has received a funding boost - thanks to the efforts of a group of passionate volunteers. 

The Suffolk Libraries session at Rushmere Pavilion was set to close at the end of July as the funding to pay for it was set to run out. 

The pop-up library is not part of the Suffolk Libraries contract with Suffolk County Council, and additional funding is essential to keep it going. 

Recent events at the Rushmere Library

Recent events at the Rushmere Library - Credit: Rushmere Library

The recently-formed Friends of Rushmere Library has successfully secured £4,995 from Ipswich Borough Council’s North-East Area Committee, enabling it to commission Suffolk Libraries to run the session until the end of March 2023. 

The weekly Rushmere Suffolk Libraries local session is one of two ‘pop-up’ libraries run every Wednesday by Suffolk Libraries.  

The pop-up model enables Suffolk Libraries to bring the library experience to a local community, including book-lending, free IT, computer access and a range of activities. 

Sandra Gage, the chair of the Friends of Rushmere Library, said: “This service is vital to many people in this part of Ipswich. When I learned that the session was going to end due to lack of funds, I worked with Tom – the staff member who runs the session – to put a friends’ group together and apply for the funds needed to enable it to continue.  

Recent events at the Rushmere Library

Recent events at the Rushmere Library - Credit: Rushmere Library

Most Read

“I’m so pleased that we’ve been successful, and in doing so, created a unique way to deliver a pop-up library in Suffolk – paid for and commissioned by a friends’ group. Hopefully, this is just the start. 

“We’re hoping to raise funds to enable the service to grow and develop so we can reach even more people.” 

Bruce Leeke, CEO of Suffolk Libraries, said: “We’re delighted that, thanks to the Friends of Rushmere Library, we can continue the sessions at Rushmere as we know it is proving popular with many local families in this part of town.  

“We’re particularly grateful to Sandra Gage for her support for the library sessions and are pleased to work with her and local people to deliver this service. Suffolk Libraries is 10 years old in August and this is another example of how we’ve always sought to work with communities to provide innovative new services which bring people together.” 

The ‘Wordplay’ activities for young children have been a particular success at the library, where children can enjoy lively and engaging sessions, with their parents also enjoying chatting and socialising. 

The Rushmere pop-up library has also recently been running outreach sessions in the local community, including very successful sessions for families over the Jubilee weekend.  

The library will take part in the Sidegate Primary School Summer Fayre this Saturday.