Castlefield celebrates its new community library

Increased opening hours and better accessibility are hallmarks of Castlefield Community Library, in High Wycombe, which will be opened officially on Saturday September 12 at 1.30pm.

And atthe launch local young people who completed the library’s ‘Record Breakers’ Summer Reading Challenge will be presented with their medals and certificates.

The library moved from its long-time home at Castlefield school to the nearby Community Centre in June, and is now a community partnership between Buckinghamshire County Council, local residents and the Wycombe-based Karima Foundation.

Two VolunteerLibrary Co-ordinators employed by Karima will be supported by 14 trained volunteers, whichhas enabled the Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday opening times to be extended by two hours.

David Jones, the County Council’s Head of Library Services, said the community centre was a more easily accessible location for the community library, and since the move visitor numbers had increase by around 40%.

‘The community library will continue to provide the full range of services,’ he said. ‘In fact we’ve increased the number of public computers so that more visitors can get online.’

Martin Phillips, Cabinet Member for Community Engagement, who will officially open the community library, said the library would play a key role in the community centre’s future, encouraging Castlefield’s children and adults to develop a love of reading.

‘Everyone in this new partnership has worked hard to get where we are today,’ he said. ‘And it’s important that we forge ahead together to provide the community with a resource of great value to them.’

Leading the project for the Karima Foundation, local Deputy Head Teacher Khaiam Shabbir, said:’The project has been a credit to the efforts of all involved, and the quote that still sticks in our minds from a visitor over the summer – “Never in my wildest dreams would I have expected to see Castlefield as busy as it has been and with as many diverse people as I have seen in here this afternoon”.’

Joining Martin Phillips for the launch will be local division County Councillor Zahir Mohammed, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills.
Castlefield Community Library joins a network of 16 community and nine county-run libraries. Website address: