Big restoration of library opens new doors for customers

Paul Farrell (site manager), Sheila Foster (Library Manager) with Anne Lovely (Principal Librarian)
Paul Farrell (site manager), Sheila Foster (Library Manager) with Anne Lovely (Principal Librarian)

A library’s restoration project is already opening new doors for customers with a £250,000 refurbishment well under way.

The drive at Kettering Library has seen half the building dug up to so its original block flooring can be restored, as well as its Sheep Street entrance re-opened after more than two decades.

Principal librarian Anne Lovely said: “It’s been emotional for a lot of people as coming in through our main entrance again takes them back to their childhood.

“We’ve had lots of good feedback from it.”

In March, the Friends of Kettering Library launched the restoration appeal with the aim of putting £1m towards returning the building to its former glories.

As part of this, Northamptonshire County Council contributed a quarter of a million pounds to restore the wooden parquet flooring which has been in place since the library opened over a century ago.

Work is being carried out at the moment and is expected to be completed by November.

The library’s manager, Sheila Foster, said: “It’s something we’ve been campaigning to get for five or six years.

“Once it’s done, it’s going to look wonderful and we’re all really excited to see it finished.”

The Friends group has placed Olympics-themed quizzes in the library to help raise funds, which will be available until Saturday, August 11.