Tribute to library manager who leaves behind 'fantastic legacy'

Tributes have been paid to David Cook, the manager of Broomhill Library. 

Tributes have been paid to David Cook, the manager of Broomhill Library. - Credit: Suffolk Libraries

An Ipswich manager who led a "significant transformation" of a community library "will never be forgotten" by colleagues.   

David Cook became Broomhill Library manager in 2015 but for more than a decade was dedicated to improving and increasing services at Suffolk Libraries. 

Colleagues called Mr Cook "warm, generous and calm" and passionate about making the library a friendly and welcoming space. 

He died last week after two years of fighting illness. 

Bruce Leeke, chief executive of Suffolk Libraries, said: “David was a wonderful man and epitomised the spirit, character and compassion of the library service.

"His many years as part of the Suffolk Libraries family saw him make Broomhill Library into one of our most friendly, welcoming and joyous spaces.

"David was dedicated to making the quirky building into a focal point for the community and through many years of hard work and perseverance he achieved a significant transformation.

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“David also had a passion for lifelong learning and was always keen to help others enhance their skills and develop in their role.

"Most of all he was warm, generous and calm – always finding time for people whatever the circumstances."

Mr Cook began working with Suffolk Libraries in March 2007, working at Chantry Library, the former schools library service and as a mobile library driver across Ipswich for several years. 

Earlier this month, he welcomed his first grandchild. 

Mr Leeke said Mr Cook left behind a "fantastic legacy", adding: “Our thoughts and sincere condolences are with his wife, and family. We’ll all miss David tremendously, but we’ll never forget what he’s done for people across the Ipswich area and far beyond.”

Samantha Wilson, chair of the Broomhill Library Friends group, said: “Watching him engage with all his customers, welcoming everyone with such friendliness and ease was something to behold, he always made an effort to acknowledge everyone that visited. He was a big part of the Friends group and we will all miss him and his enthusiasm greatly.”

In recent years, the library manager was involved in providing support for staff through Suffolk Libraries' Safe Spaces campaign launched last year against domestic abuse.

He also helped to introduce cancer support groups to libraries in partnership with Macmillan.