Library once condemned for closure flourishes after modernisation

Oxford’s Summertown Public Library, condemned to disappear only a year ago, is not only reprieved but is looking smarter than ever. It’s been given a makeover which has made it brighter and more convivial. There are self-service check-in machines and bright new bookshelves which can be moved aside to create a meeting space.

Oxfordshire County Council, which just over a year ago announced it would close the Library, not only reversed its decision but found modest funds to modernise.

The Friends of Summertown Library, who a year ago were staging noisy demonstrations by mothers and children outside County Hall, contributed campaign funds to finance furniture for a popular new Readers’ Corner.

Not only did the community triumph over cultural vandalism, but cooperation replaced confrontation. Or, as they put it in one of those library books, swords were turned into ploughshares.

See www.friendsofsummertownlibrary.org/

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