Monday 16 September marks ten years since Gainsborough Community Library moved into its current building. Everyone is invited to attend its birthday celebration, featuring activities for all ages, on Saturday 14 September.
The building on Clapgate Lane, Ipswich, was purpose-built in 2009 as part of a £1.4m project by Suffolk County Council. It features a café, community garden, a digital sound studio and a distinctive green steel rotunda. It replaced a building that had served the community for over 70 years.
Since the move, the library has established 30 different kinds of regular events and groups for children, young people and older persons, as well as health and wellbeing, arts and crafts and sporting sessions.
The library had 139,607 visits in 2018-19, an increase of 20,000 from the previous year. It was second only to Ipswich County Library for event and activity engagement in the same period, with 17,515 attendances - an increase of 4,300 from the previous year. It also boasted the highest number of hours worked by volunteers at a library in Suffolk, with members of the public giving nearly 3,500 hours of their time, particularly to its café, activities and events.
Library manager Mandy Grimwood said:
“The last 10 years at Gainsborough Community Library have been simply amazing. Our library has become a hub for the area. We’ve listened to the local community, established several groups, and we are always continuing to improve and develop the library space to meet the needs of the whole community.
“It is a privilege to be surrounded by so many passionate individuals, who all have a joint vision for our cherished library, which is much more than just a place to get books. It is a place to feel safe, find friends and be a part of something that really matters!”