Gallery: New Library opens its doors

PUBLISHED: 13:56 25 June 2009 | UPDATED: 07:16 30 May 2010

Dunmow Library

Dunmow Library

BOOKLOVERS flooded into Dunmow s new library on Monday morning as the new £1million facility finally opened its doors to the public. Located in the White Street car park, the new building occupies the ground floor of a block of flats built on the site of

BOOKLOVERS flooded into Dunmow's new library on Monday morning as the new £1million facility finally opened its doors to the public.

Located in the White Street car park, the new building occupies the ground floor of a block of flats built on the site of the old bowls cub and the now demolished Dunmow Inn pub.

It is the first completed part of a massive regeneration project in the town centre, which will also include a new £100,000 town square, work on which is due to start in September.

Essex County Council's libraries officer Jenney Salisbury was on hand to oversee the first day and she, along with staff members transferred from the old library on North Street, said she was delighted with the new building.

"It is fantastic," she said. "It was a bit of a rush to get everything in place for the big day, but all the effort has been well worth it. It has been busy already and I can see this building becoming a real focal point for the community. It is very exciting."

Plans for a new library in the town have been in the pipeline for ten years, but now have become a reality.

Included in the building's design is a safe children's area for book clubs and learning - complete with bright, colourful carpets and low bookshelves.

At the rear of the building is a computer suite with super-fast broadband with free access for library users.

Meeting rooms for groups and the general public are also available with kitchen facilities.

The amount of books has increased by over 50 per cent and the opening hours have now doubled to six days a week from 9pm to 6pm every day except Sundays.

Mrs Salisbury said: "Everyone can now use the library. People can drop in after work, pop over at lunch or come at the weekend.

"Timeslots for our computers can also be booked well in advance, so users never have to wait around if they don't want to."

A fundamental part of the new library is a terminal for users to check books in and out electronically by themselves - avoiding long queues.

Library cards can be still be used in the exact same way as before, and the staff are also encouraging members of the public who have not had a library card before to come along and get free membership.

An official opening with a cutting ribbon ceremony is scheduled for mid-July.

What do you think of Dunmow's new facility? E-mail us at nick.thompson@archant.co.uk or write to us at 54 High Street, Saffron Walden, Essex, CB10 1EE

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