A Hampshire first as new library opens at The Carroll

Press Release: 15/01/2013

At a time of public spending cuts and service reductions across the country, there is good news for the people of Stanmore in Winchester. Monday 21 January sees the official opening of a new library at The Carroll Centre in Somers Close, offering longer opening hours and a warm welcome for local people of all ages. It will be the first community library of its kind in the county.

Cllr Ken Thornber, Leader of Hampshire County Council, will officially open the library with the help of some Stanmore children – who will be discovering the delights of the self-issue machine. The Centre is celebrating with a day of free, book-related family activities including story readings, poetry workshops, and historical ‘make and take’ sessions – the perfect, free distraction for the Stanmore Primary School INSET day.

The new library has come about following discussions between Hampshire County Council, Winchester City Council and The Carroll Centre which were prompted by news just over a year ago that the old library in Wavell Way was due to close. The project has led to the refurbishment of parts of The Carroll Centre to make space for bookshelves, bean bags and self-issue machines.

Centre Manager, Jool Heller-Dixon, said

The Carroll has been known for the quality of its provision for young people and children over the years, but we are always looking at developing new services and projects to suit the changing needs of local residents. I am delighted that we have been able to bring the library into our building, ensuring the future of the service but also – I hope – introducing a new audience to the joy of reading.

Hampshire County Council Executive Member for Culture and Recreation, Councillor Keith Chapman, said

This is a fantastic result for people in Stanmore as it means they keep a local library on their doorstep. By working alongside The Carroll Centre, local community, and Winchester City Council we have been able to find a solution that meets everyone’s needs. Not only will the library stay open more hours each week – an increase from nine at the former library to now 25 hours at The Carroll Centre, but by moving it into an already thriving hub for community activity, more and more people can now use the services on offer, which go far beyond simply lending books.

Cllr Jamie Scott, Winchester City Council Ward Member, was closely involved with the project throughout. He said

I have lived in Stanmore all my life and love this neighbourhood. I am so pleased to have played a part in this project, and hope that others will now come forward as volunteers to help run the library to the benefit of everyone who lives in this area.