Newport Library Subcommittee

The Newport Library Subcommittee met three times over April and May 2014 and hosted a Community Information Evening on 3 June 2014.

The Subcommittee members provided great ideas on the collection and achieved a quiet study area and a small children’s zone almost within the same building  footprint. The group generated ideas to develop the library “theme” or focus. Some of the main thoughts encompassed the library as “the heart and soul of Newport”. Collections that focussed on wellbeing and sustainable living  could include architecture; food production energy choices and alternative therapies were just  a few of the ideas. The group thought the establishment of a sheet music collection (electronic and physical) would link with the Music Studio to support budding musicians.

The subcommittee read and considered a lot of information about demographics and societal trends around technology and how that was reflected in public library trends here and internationally.

The range and number of existing user groups were discussed and thinking applied in how best to support the groups through relevant collections and technology.

Some of the essential library elements agreed at the meetings include collections of books, newspapers, magazines and DVDs accompanied by ebooks and other eresources such as magazines and eaudiobooks. There will be different zones in the library for different purposes – quiet study or read space; relax and read areas; small group study; a children’s zone; a computer/digital zone and the opportunity for youth to use the Youth lounge upstairs.  Some of the featured technology include wifi; self serve RFID stations, a 24 hour library return chute; self managed print, copy, scan station and a 24 hour reserve pickup in secure lockers.

The Library will make use of the different program spaces throughout the building – booking their times for regular events  along with other regular  users. The shared flexible spaces are a feature of the building.

Further meetings of the Library Subcommittee will cover demographic trends for the future and recap library trends; look at Youth Services functions as one of the other tenants of the building;  look at the environmentally sustainable design features; explore the music theme and the opportunities for public art and finally provide input for the look and layout. Overall the agreed thinking of the library at the heart of the building and the heart and soul of Newport led to discussion on interesting partnership ideas to strengthen links with nearby organisations such as the Substation, the Railway Museum and groups such as the Newport Fiddle and Folk.

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