At last! New library welcomes readers

May 30 2017

After ten years of planning, the new Bishopston Library opened its doors to the public at the beginning of May. The modern building is designed to fulfil all the needs of a 21st century library user with a wide selection of fiction and non-fiction books, a purpose-built children’s reading corner, free Wi-Fi and plug in facilities for computers.

After ten years of planning, the new Bishopston Library opened its doors to the public at the beginning of May. The modern building is designed to fulfil all the needs of a 21st century library user with a wide selection of fiction and non-fiction books, a purpose-built children’s reading corner, free Wi-Fi and plug in facilities for computers.

Library supervisor Tracey Wintle gave the Bishopston Voice a tour behind the scenes, explaining: “We’ve been very busy since it’s opened. The library is light, open and airy. So far the non-fiction and the children’s library have been very popular. 

“Many families have come in to have a look and we’ve signed up 600 new borrowers in the last two weeks.”

The Bishopston Library is sited in the Swimming Baths development and replaces the former Cheltenham Road Library which was sold off to help fund the costs of the new building. 

The library is on two floors, with an accessible lift to the first floor where there is a dedicated area for users to plug in laptops and other portable devices, plus several study tables. There is plenty of non-fiction on this floor and a member of staff on hand for help and advice.

The Children’s Library has been placed at the back of the building for security. 

Forty parents and their children arrived for Baby Bounce and Rhyme this week, signing and jiggling to the rhythms of the stories. This event is held each Wednesday at 11am and Storytime is also held for children at 11.30am each Saturday.

A Shared Reading session is run by volunteers at 11.30am each Wednesday. It’s open to all and no preparation or prior reading is required. The group discuss a reading and talk about what feelings it evokes in their minds. This group is good for busy people and those who may be isolated.

There is a separate meeting room on the ground floor that is available for groups to hire. Local community groups are encouraged to enquire about the room as it can be booked ‘at cost’ or may even be free for use. The meeting room can also double up as a quiet study room when it’s empty.

The new library has attracted plenty of interest with people queuing outside waiting for the doors to open. Student Bryony had come to revise for her A Levels:

“There’s free parking and I find the Central Library so quiet that I almost can’t work. I prefer it in here. It’s a lot more convenient and I like how the desks are all scattered about instead of just in rows,” she said.

Tracey added: “It’s nice that there is a place for local people to come to. There are self-service machines but the library is manned too, so come on in and say hello.”

Bishopston Library is open from 1 - 7pm on Mondays, and from 11am - 5pm from Wednesday to Saturday. It is closed on Tuesdays and Sundays.