Pop-up library to open in Ulverston next week

The outside of Ulverston Library

A ‘pop-up’ library service will begin in Ulverston next week following the closure of the town’s library building at the start of the month.

The temporary provision will launch on Thursday, 21 September, and will be based in the Ante Room at The Coro.

The pop-up library will initially offer the following services:

  • A library reception desk for information and support for customers
  • A drop-off point for returning books
  • A small selection of books available for borrowing
  • A limited number of public computers/desks/printers will be available from Thursday, 28 September

The pop-up service in the Ante Room – which is fully accessible on the ground floor of The Coro - will initially operate at the following times, in line with The Coro’s existing reception hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 9.30am-12.30pm.

Westmorland and Furness Council library service staff are also looking to create further library provision in the nearby Ulverston Indoor Market, to include more stock for borrowing as well as space for community groups, meetings and events.

It is hoped that this ‘phase two’ will be operational in around a month’s time.

Ulverston’s library building on King’s Road was closed following the discovery of issues with the building’s electrics during routine statutory checks.

The building has now been thoroughly checked and made safe but still has no power available.

A team from Westmorland and Furness Council has been working since the closure to arrange a suitable alternative library service in the town while the library building is out of action.

Councillor Virginia Taylor, Westmorland and Furness Council’s Cabinet member for Sustainable Communities and Localities, said: “I know that people were really concerned when we had to close the library’s doors and worried what the future might hold.

“We have great libraries in Westmorland and Furness, and as an enthusiastic library user myself I was delighted to become portfolio holder. So it was important to me as well as to all the staff, to get something up and running as soon as possible for the users of Ulverston library.

“Our staff have been working hard to ensure there is at least a partial library service, and in an accessible location or locations within Ulverston, and I’m very grateful to The Coro for helping. Their much-loved community building right in the town centre is a great place to offer the ‘pop-up’ library service.

“We are now in the process of moving our stock from King’s Road into suitable storage, which will be safely accessible to library staff. Then we can start to offer soon, additionally, a ‘select and collect’ borrowing service. We’re also exploring opportunities to use space in the indoor market for even more library services, maybe including places for our reading groups and clubs to meet.

“The staff and I recognise that the closure of such a well-used and popular library will have caused some inconvenience and we apologise to our valued customers.

“Everyone has been working hard to find ways that at least a partial alternative library service will be up and running next week.’’

Beth Kennedy, Director at The Coro, said: “When we saw the news about the sudden closure of the library, our first and only thought was for the people of Ulverston and the surrounding area, and the vital services that had ceased to be available overnight.

“The library does so much in addition to lending books – it’s an essential hub for everything from mobile banking services to free computers and internet access, and people of all ages and situations rely on it.

“While it’s not easy to re-purpose space at The Coro when working around a vibrant and thriving cultural offer, we wanted to do whatever we could to help ensure continued access to these types of important services while Westmorland and Furness Council concentrate on restoring a full library offer in the town.

“Therefore we had no hesitation in offering to help when the council approached us about hosting a temporary, limited pop-up library in the Ante Room up until the end of the year.”

Customers can also find full library services at nearby libraries at Grange and Barrow, with Library Links in Dalton and Broughton-in-Furness. The council also has a digital library services on offer.

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