DERBYSHIRE’S Poet Laureate Matt Black is due to read a poem written about the foundation stone of Ashbourne’s new library at an official ceremony next week.
As construction of the £2.4 million new facility reaches its closing phases, bosses at Derbyshire County Council have announced that the latest ceremonial stage is due to take place on Wednesday.
Leader of Derbyshire County Council, Ashbourne councillor Andrew Lewer, will lay the stone at the facility, which he said will become a ‘real asset’ for the people of Ashbourne.
He said: “Laying the foundation stone marks a significant step in the library’s development and we are very much looking forward to residents and visitors soon being able to come in and use the new facilities.
“Ashbourne Library will be a real asset to the town. It is purpose-built and will offer many services to benefit the whole community under one roof.”
Work to demolish existing buildings on the library site in Compton Street started last June and contractors Kier moved onto site to start the new build on behalf of the authority in July.
The new building will be almost twice the size of the current library in Cokayne Avenue and designers say it will stock more books and DVDs, have more computers, a better children’s library and room for community activities.
The building, which is on the site of the former doctors’ surgery in Compton, will house the county council’s new register office, including space for ceremonies, a day centre for older people, a toy library, space for Ashbourne Heritage Society and a display area for the town’s Shrovetide Honours Board, memorabilia and other heritage artefacts.
A ‘Changing Places’ toilet - a specialised toilet with more space than other accessible disabled toilets designed for use with a carer - has been fitted in to the design, and a double-height reception area will provide a large display space.
There will also be free wi-fi in the building, which is due to open in the spring.
A self-service terminal and extended opening hours, to include Monday opening, have also been announced.
Opening hours will be Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays 9am to 5pm, Tuesdays and Fridays 9am to 7pm and Saturdays 9am to 1pm.
The double-height library area will be fitted with moveable shelves, which will make way for exhibition space when required.
Matt Black is Derbyshire’s fourth Poet Laureate and takes over the role from Ann Atkinson. He will hold the post until September 2013.
As part of his role, he writes new poems inspired by Derbyshire as well as running poetry workshops and appearing at events and festivals.