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North east Ipswich to get weekly pop-up library after funding approved

PUBLISHED: 17:00 14 November 2017 | UPDATED: 17:00 14 November 2017

A pop-up library launched in Shotley Village Hall. Picture: GREGG BROWN

A pop-up library launched in Shotley Village Hall. Picture: GREGG BROWN

A scheme to introduce a pop-up library to an area of Ipswich with no permanent library has been given the green light.

Councillors in north east Ipswich expressed their concern that the area did not have its own library, and after the plug was pulled on the mobile library in 2013, left those in the area without nearby library provision.

Sandra Gage, borough and county councillor for Rushmere began talks with Suffolk Libraries chief executive Alison Wheeler over the opportunity to launch a pop-up library in north east Ipswich, following trials in some rural areas in the county.

Now, having secured the last batch of funding this month, the weekly pop-up will be launched at Ransomes Pavilion.

Shelly Darwin, chairwoman of Ipswich Borough Council’s north east area committee which approved a grant of £12,960 this month, said: “I am delighted to see this progress and look forward to it becoming a hub for people to explore, interact, learn and imagine.

“Residents in the north east of our town should not be the only ones without access to a local library.

“A library is a valuable resource and a key feature of a healthy community and I am pleased that the NEAC could support the success of this exciting project.”

The remainder of the funding of £3,276 has come from Ms Gage’s locality budget for this year, with a further £2,500 pledged for next year.

The two year scheme will mean the weekly library will appear at the venue, as well as offering activities and events for children and over 50s such as parent and child reading sessions, adult book clubs and homework support sessions.

Ms Gage added: “With our new Ransomes Pavilion literally sitting in the heart of north-east Ipswich, we now have the perfect venue to offer a one day a week library with activities and sessions for children and adults of all ages.”

The pop-up will feature more than 1,000 titles on site, soft furnishings, craft materials and board games, two chromebooks and two tablets.

The borough council’s funding report added: “The activities on offer will promote learning and skills development and enhance leisure and cultural opportunities for those who may not be able to access such opportunities elsewhere.”

James Powell, a spokesman for Suffolk Libraries, said: “We were pleased to be asked to work with Ipswich Borough Council in delivering a new library service to this part of Ipswich. It will be based on the ‘Suffolk Libraries Local’ pilot project which aims to deliver a regular slice of library life to communities who live some distance from a branch library.”

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