Refurbishment of the Library

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Since 2012, successive boards of the Foundation (ALF) have worked with Suffolk Libraries and the County Council, who own the site, to bring the 1965 building up to date and extend its facilities, services, and opening hours.

 

The Foundation has raised money through Grants, Loans, Surpluses reinvested from adult education courses and events in the Library as well as significant donations from Foal members and local organisations - details are on the Appeal page. The aim has been to establish the Library as a knowledge hub for the community, open to all.

Phase 1 in 2014 included the new toilet with disabled access, kitchen facilities and a dedicated children’s area.
 
Phase 2 in 2016/7 saw double-glazed windows, insulated roof courtesy of SCC, while the Foundation funded new book shelving, chairs and tables, new carpeting, and computers including a large wall mounted interactive TV and PC screen for education. 2 years later the Library received grants for a 3D Printer and computer components for children learning to code. Continuing funds were also provided by FOAL to increase Library staff hours in support of community activities beyond the core book-lending role of the Library. 
 
Phase 3 in 2019/20 was the most ambitious with Architect plans from Studio Gray. The entrance lobby was re-sited in a glass structure under the outside portico. This freed up about 20% more floor space, allowing us to move the children’s area to a larger corner and increase the area available for Courses and Talks including community events. The Librarians have a new and more spacious desk sited closer to the entrance. Outside a new patio was built including a path to the back door with a handrail and lighting. The Library itself had a complete redecoration including new branding and colours outside. 

In 2021 The Foundation received grants for patio furniture including a table with disabled access and planters from Adnams Community Fund and the WI. Suffolk County Council have installed new lighting along the path from Victoria Road to the Car Park and both entrances.