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Totnes Library

New Totnes Library

Totnes Library - entrance visual

Latest News

November 2013

The new library opened its doors on Monday 10th June and was officially opened by the Chairman of Devon County Council, Bernard Hughes OBE on Tuesday 16th July. Since then we have been thrilled by the positive reaction from the community, with lots of comments about the increased space, the bright atmosphere and the fabulous views.

More photos in our Photo gallery and on Flickr

The works to improve the courtyard area in front of the library have now begun and it is anticipated they will take approximately 6 weeks to complete. See the plans here. In order to ensure minimal disruption and to retain access to all the services offered on The Mansion site, the work will be carried out in two phases, with the courtyard divided into two halves. Work to the library/nursery end of the courtyard will be Phase 1 and it is hoped this phase will be completed by the end of November. While this work is being carried out there will still be access to the library and nursery and also to the ramp at the side of the Mansion below the hall. Once Phase 1 is completed, works will move to the Mansion/café end of the courtyard for Phase 2. Again, the works will be contained within cordoned areas to maintain access. The timber benches will not go in until the end of the project, along with the planting.

If you have any comments or questions please get in touch by contacting us at newtotnes@devon.gov.uk

June 2013

Your new Totnes Library – Let’s celebrate!

We are pleased to reveal a programme of celebratory events image - PDF icon (350KB - pdf help) that will take place in the library and The Mansion from Monday 24 June. There is something to appeal to all ages including family events, adult education taster sessions, a theatrical performance by Totnes Youth Theatre and the chance to meet some celebrated authors. For further information and to book your place, please contact the library on 01803 862210.

To book a place on any of the Devon Adult & Community Learning taster sessions please call into The Mansion in person or phone MyDevon on 0845 155 1014

May 2013

Monday 3rd – Friday 7th June inclusive – the old library will close to enable removals and set-up in the new building. We apologise for any inconvenience caused. Saturday 8th June 10.00am - 12.00pm – Preview morning. You will not be able to borrow any books yet, but please do drop in to have your first glimpse of the new library. On Monday 10th June – 9.00am we open for business again. Our new opening hours will be:

Mon 9.00 – 6.00
Tue  9.00 – 5.00
Wed 9.00 – 6.00
Thu Closed
Fri 9.00 – 5.00
Sat 9.00 – 1.00

Monday 24th June will see the start of a programme of celebratory events. More details to follow soon.

April 2013

Construction work on-site is now well underway and the new library space is taking shape. The works are scheduled to be completed mid-May and we are aiming to open the new library by early June 2013.

Interior design:  HMY Radford have been appointed to design the interior of the new library and we can share some visual representations of how the finished library might look here. Features include:

  • A light, bright modern space
  • Self-service kiosks and an enquiry point, designed to give more flexibility for library staff to attend to a wide range of customer needs
  • A ‘Quick-pick’ stand close to the self-service kiosks for those in a hurry
  • A larger dedicated children’s area with a variety of seating choices and a feature wall to stimulate interest and imagination
  • A separate area away from the children’s space for young people to enjoy
  • A bank of public-access computers
  • Study tables within the non-fiction area
  • Free-standing furniture and shelving on castors to facilitate flexible use of the floor space
  • Comfortable seating in the lobby area and beside the large window overlooking the courtyard, designed to take maximum advantage of the natural light and views

Courtyard landscaping: The final design for the landscaping of the courtyard area has now been agreed and will be submitted for planning permission shortly. See the design here. Main features to highlight include:

  • Ample seating of timber construction to encourage people to linger and enjoy the space. The range of seating provided, including a curved bench by the steps, could also allow the space to be used for formal activities organised by the library, the Rainbow Nursery, the Pulse Youth Group or Devon Adult & Community Learning.
  • 3 timber tables for general public use and for use by customers of the People’s Café who may wish to take advantage of good weather
  • Improvements to the side entrance from Fore Street, to create easier access for wheelchairs and baby buggies
  • Planting to include 5 semi-mature trees and a variety of hardy shrubs, chosen to provide year-round interest and colour
  • 4 cycle stands
  • Retention of the drinking fountain plus appropriate connections to facilitate a potential future water feature
  • Stainless steel waste bins to discourage littering
  • Screening to hide the large wheelie bins

The works to implement the changes to the courtyard will take place during Autumn 2013 and are likely to take 4-6 weeks. The work will be carried out in 2 phases to cause minimum disruption and maintain easy access to the new library.

Opening celebrations: We would like to celebrate the opening of the new library with a small programme of events during June. If you have any ideas or would like to be involved in any way, please do contact us at newtotnes@devon.gov.uk

More visuals can be found in the Photo gallery

October 2012

Further consultation workshops have now taken place to gather ideas for the landscaping of the courtyard area at The Mansion. By improving this area we hope to create a clear route towards the library but also present an inviting space that will encourage people to linger, relax and explore the rest of The Mansion site.

The proposed plan includes a circular area of seating that will be ideal for use by small groups and activities such as library story sessions; tables that may be used for picnics or by customers of the People's café; planting beds to add colour, and a plinth for displaying local artwork.

Further consultation will take place very soon to determine how we might involve the community in the planting for the site and to gather ideas for the best way to make use of the artwork plinth. If you have any comments or ideas please contact us at newtotnes@devon.gov.uk.

August 2012

You said you would like…

  • A much bigger library - Your new library will be twice the size of the current one.
  • Easy access for all - A brand new lift will enable easy access for all and signage at the front of The Mansion will be improved. The courtyard in front of the new library will be landscaped so there’s a clear, safe route.
  • More books - The stock will be increased by around a third.
  • Books in a variety of formats - There will be more books in large print format as well as audiobooks, playaways, ebooks and audio download.
  • A wider range for children - There will be a substantial increase to the range of stock available for children and young people.
  • A larger children’s area - The children’s area in your new library will be substantially bigger than in the current library, and will be a comfortable, inviting space where families can share books together and library staff can host events. Teenagers will have their own designated area too.
  • More events / activities - The space in your new library will be much more flexible so a wider range of activities and events can happen. We shall also be exploring how we might make use of other spaces within The Mansion.
  • Easier access to the internet - Your new library will offer access to wi-fi as well as providing public-access computers.

Your new library will..

  • Be a welcoming environment where more people can widen their interests through reading, learning and accessing information
  • Be designed for the community and provide a light, open, modern and flexible space, accessible and fit for purpose for individuals and groups from all sectors of society
  • Deliver improved 21st century technology such as Self Service and Wi-Fi.
  • Revitalise a currently underused community building
  • Support the local economy by bringing more people into the town centre

Likely timescales…

November 2012 – Construction work at The mansion is scheduled to start

March 2013 – Construction work is planned to finish

Spring 2013 – the new library will open!

In the meantime…

Information boards are now in place in the current library and The Mansion. These will be regularly updated as new information becomes available. Please continue to send us your comments and ideas to newtotnes@devon.gov.uk

May 2012

The first phase of community engagement and consultation has now concluded. The project team has looked at the information gathered from the 400+ questionnaires and the focus group sessions.

In summary, people would like to see a new library with:

  • More books and audiobooks to borrow
  • A larger children’s area
  • An area for quiet reading and/or study
  • More events and activities
  • A more accessible and better signed main entrance

Further details of the findings will be posted soon.

The next phase of community engagement will see public information boards in place in the current library and in The Mansion. These will display plans as they become available and enable Devon Libraries to publicise any further consultation events. The email mailbox at newtotnes@devon.gov.uk will remain available for the duration of the project for any questions or comments.

December 2011

Community engagement starts this month with a wide range of activities planned.

Public consultation starts on Monday 12 December

  • The survey is now closed but you can still email your comments to newtotnes@devon.gov.uk or phone 0845 155 1001.
  • On street market research will take place in the Civic Square on Friday 16 December between 9.00am and 12.30pm.
  • An open afternoon at The Mansion will be held on Friday 16 December from 1.30 – 4.30pm. This will be an opportunity for you to come and see the space where the new library will be.
  • Focus groups will take place with key groups in the community; including children, teenagers and families as well as people with disabilities as creating easy physical access to the building is an important element in the redevelopment.

Press releases:

06/12/2011 - Council asks residents for their ideas on new library for Totnes
14/10/2011 - Totnes Library is on the move


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