Kettering's library to re-open next week

It was due to be moved to a temporary site before a U-turn

By Sam Wildman
Wednesday, 7th July 2021, 2:53 pm
Updated Wednesday, 7th July 2021, 2:54 pm
Kettering's library
Kettering's library

Kettering s library will re-open next week after a U-turn from council chiefs over a plan to temporarily move it.

The Sheep Street library and its services were due to be relocated within the town for up to a year as part of a major £3.9m project to improve the GLaM (Gallery Library and Museum).

When it closed at the end of May library users were told to use the community-run sites in Burton Latimer, Rothwell and Desborough.

But last month council chiefs had a change of heart and decided Kettering's library would remain at its current site after all, albeit with a reduced capacity.

And today (Wednesday) the council has announced it will be offering services to customers again from Monday (July 12).

The contractor and the council’s health and safety teams have identified some space in the current library building to allow some library provision in a safe and managed environment.

Opening times will be from 10am to 4pm between Monday and Friday.

Services available are:

Browsing - by arranging a pre- booked slot, customers will be able to browse and choose from a limited range of stock.

Select and Collect - customers will be able to request reading materials and arrange collection in advance.

Bus Passes and Enquiry and Signposting Service - staff will greet customers at the door and assist with the enquiry. No appointment necessary.

Summer Reading Challenge- Library staff will be able to welcome children to take part in the Summer Reading Challenge which starts on Saturday, July 10. The theme this year is Wild World Heroes. Children aged five to 12 will be welcomed at the door to sign up to the challenge and collect their folders. Under-fives are also welcome to sign up for the special mini challenge. To choose books to read, families will be welcome to pre book a slot to come in to the library together.

To book a browsing slot, to request reading materials using select and collect or for general enquires email [email protected] or phone 0300 126 3000.

You can pick up a 'Select and Collect' form from a member of staff.

Cllr Helen Howell, the council’s deputy leader and executive member for sport, leisure, culture and tourism, said: “I’m delighted that the Library Service will be able to continue operating from the existing building, which everyone knows and loves.

“Although the size of the space on offer has temporarily been reduced many of the existing services are still on offer and once the GLaM project has been completed, this will be a whole new chapter for this quarter of the town.”

Cllr Jason Smithers, leader of the council, said: “It’s great news that we’ve been able to find a way forward in providing a library service out of the existing building while this exciting regeneration project takes place. I’d like to thank everyone involved in arriving at this clever solution.”

Due to the need to operate safely, the numbers of customers in the library at any one time will be limited, so customers without an appointment will only be admitted if there is capacity at that time. The measures will be in place for the duration of the works.

Because of the proximity of the construction site there will be some noise while work is taking place.

Additionally, there may be times during the construction phase when it will not be safe for staff and customers to access the site and the library will need to close.

The council says these times will be kept to a minimum and will be announced in advance.