Stockport’s Central Library to continue to offer library services

The library will sit alongside adult education, ensuring that residents can continue to enjoy library services in this iconic building.

Leader of Stockport Council, Cllr Mark Hunter, announced at yesterday’s Full Council Meeting, Thursday 14 July, that the town’s Central Library will continue to offer library services to the borough’s residents.

Following a consultation regarding the move of library services from the Central Library Building to Stockroom, it had previously been announced in February that the council’s adult education service, currently based at Hardman Street, would be the preferred service to relocate to the historic grade 2 building on Wellington Road South.

Whilst many consultation respondents were very positive about the opportunities offered by Stockroom, others expressed concern that the Central Library Building would no longer house any library services. Some respondents said that they wanted to ensure that the public could continue to access and enjoy this important heritage building.

The announcement of the addition of library services in the Central Library Building alongside adult education, ensures that Stockport residents can continue to enjoy library services in this iconic building. Continuing a library provision in the same premises as the adult education service will also encourage more adult learners to join and make use of the facilities on offer at Central Library and the borough’s other libraries, to support their studies.

Residents will be able to access the most popular adult fiction titles, as well as a selection of non-fiction that will complement the adult education services on offer. Those visiting with children will be able to choose from a selection of junior and children’s fiction. In addition, visitors will also be able to take advantage of free PCs, tablets and study space.

The library will also offer the popular Open + service, which has proved to be a great success in several of the borough’s other libraries. This means that once registered, customers will be able to scan their card at the terminal and enter their PIN to access the library. Whilst in the library, visitors can then borrow or return books, pick up reservations and use the public PCs or the Wi-Fi on their own device. This new provision will extend the current opening hours, and the service will also be offered on a Sunday.

Cllr Mark Hunter, Leader of Stockport Council, said: “This decision will ensure residents can continue to enjoy access to this historic building, with improved facilities and opening hours. Our Adult Education Service are a much-valued resource and continuing the library service will inspire service users to make use of the facilities and strengthen their offer.”

Cllr Grace Baynham, Cabinet member for Highways, Parks and Leisure Services, said: “We heard last year from residents who felt that the Central Library Building should continue to be used for the purpose it was originally designed for. The library services that will be retained within the Central Library will cater for all ages enabling residents to continue to enjoy reading, study and accessing online resources in this beautiful space.”

The existing proposals for the £14.5 million Future High Streets Fund investment in Stockroom will see it house a new archives and heritage library, safeguarding the future of this important heritage resource, in modern surroundings. More information on Stockroom will be made available in the coming months.

More information on Stockport Libraries and Open+ can be found on the website.