Saturday, 21 July 2012

Happy 75th birthday Palmer Park library #rdg

Earlier in the week I attended the Palmer Park library 75th anniversary event. Libraries are definitely a positive thing, bringing people together, making reading affordable and promoting reuse.

It would be good to see libraries better funded loaning a wider variety of things – tools for example. Any other ideas?

With the coalition cuts some authorities have reduced their library provision, but in Reading some opening hours have been extended.

At the anniversary event there was a very interesting talk on libraries in Reading followed by cake.

I asked the historian if he would put his notes online – which he sounded positive about – but here are a few of the facts that I noted down:

– before Palmer Park library there was a reading room at Newtown school, but this wasn't very successful
– there used to be an adult school on the corner of Grange Avenue and Norris Road where I think the Indian Community Association is now
– land was bought at cemetery junction for a library, but the council wasn't able to secure the funding so this became Arthur Hill baths
– a room at Alfred Sutton was used as a library distribution centre
– finally in 1937 Palmer Park library opened
– libraries used to be open from 6 AM to 10 PM
– unfortunately it is often mistaken for the public loos
– it had an unusual lighting system including a large skylight

As I am quite frugal I am often to be found in either the Palmer Park library reading the local papers or the central library reading the New Statesman magazine or loaning a book out – currently I have one on tai chi with a £1.70 fine and one on politics. Long may libraries continue!

How would people like to see the library service improve?

No comments: