“We’re keeping the lights and the heaters on,” said Cllr Roger Croad to Radio Devon’s Richard Green this morning, talking about how Devon libraries are providing support for people struggling with rising costs of energy and food.
Libraries across Devon are doing what they can this autumn and winter to support people, opening up as ‘warm spaces’ where people are welcome to spend time in the library, use the free WiFi and computers, and to join any of the many groups and events that people can attend.
Some libraries are also providing community fridges, stocked with surplus food from supermarkets, available to people for free.
And many also have coat rails on which people can donate winter coats for others to use.
Speaking live on BBC Radio Devon from Ivybridge Library this morning, Cllr Croad, who is responsible for our Devon library service, said:
“If you are cold at home, by all means come on down. You can get a book, or have a chat with people, or even come as a volunteer – that’s always a great way to meet people. Come on in.
“We have started up a community fridge project, not only in libraries but also in other areas and venues across the county. There isn’t one here in Ivybridge Library just yet but there are some in libraries in Tavistock, Tiverton and Exeter. Surplus food (from supermarkets) is available all for free, so that good food gets eaten and doesn’t go to waste. That’s important.”
Asked how ready Ivybridge Library is for a possible influx of visitors this winter, Ros Parkes, Library Supervisor, said they’re ready.
“We are looking forward to welcoming people this winter and recognise that we are playing a really important role in the community.
“We have lots of seating and a really flexible space that people can use. We have a cafe, and if people want to bring a cup of tea into the library, they can.
“We have lots of books and things to do, and activities for groups, parents and young children.
“Come in, and we’ll make you very welcome.”
You can listen to the full interview on BBC Sounds (scroll through to 7:30am)