Book lovers can take a sneak preview of the improvements before the official re-opening on March 13

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COLYTON residents are being invited to a sneak preview of their new-look library.

Renovation and improvement work, costing around £35,000, is currently under way and the building is set to reopen on March 13.

The library will have a new entrance and a new improved flexible layout, designed to make browsing easier and to expand the use of the building for the local community.

A new self-service kiosk will be installed and a redesign of the children’s area promises to make it easier for youngsters to look for books.

The project is the result of a partnership between the Devon County Council and the Friends of Colyton Library group, who have been fundraising to help pay for some of the refurbishment work.

Following the revamp, the library will be open for longer, with special ‘Library Extra’ sessions hosted by the Friends of Colyton Library group taking place each Tuesday from 10am to 12.30pm, which is when the library was previously closed.

The new arrangement, which will see volunteers from the friends group helping to open the library building for longer so residents can borrow and return items outside of the normal opening hours, is the first of its kind in Devon.

The improvements are expected to cost approximately £35,000. Generous contributions have been made by the Chamber of Feoffees, the parish council, and Colyton Parish History Society. Friends of Colyton Library have contributed £2,000 for new furnishings for the children’s area.

Now the community is invited to a special sneak preview morning on Tuesday, March 13, from 11am to 12pm, to see the changes, before the library officially reopens for business at 2.30pm that afternoon.

Councillor Roger Croad, Devon County Council Cabinet member with responsibility for the library service, said: “I am pleased that we are investing in improving Colyton Library. The introduction of self-service kiosks means our library staff will be able to spend time helping people with their enquiries and choices, and the refurbishment work will make the library look and feel brighter and more welcoming.

“We are working hard to modernise our library service, and broaden its appeal and use by the local community, and are really pleased to be working with the library friends group to help do this in Colyton.

“This partnership could provide a good opportunity for us to see how community involvement can benefit local services, and if successful could create a blueprint for other small community libraries in Devon.”

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