PAR Library will move to the athletics arena early next year as part of a new agreement with Par Track Limited to secure the future of a library service in the town.
The new micro library at the popular Moorland Road facility will remain part of Cornwall’s library service, so customers will be able to keep their existing cards and will be able to visit, borrow and order books online from other libraries in Cornwall.
Offering around 1,600 books including fiction, non-fiction and junior texts, the library stock will be provided and managed by Cornwall Council.
The library will also provide a free ‘click and collect’ service so that visitors can access the library catalogue and reserve books online. Customers will also have access to free WiFi and computers.
The current site on Eastcliffe Road will close on Saturday, January 26 and the new micro library at the running track will open on Monday, February 4.
Customers will be able to return any books borrowed from the current library to the micro library.
Anyone in Par using the Home Library Service, which is delivered by the Royal Voluntary Service, will be able to continue to access this service.
Like all local authorities throughout the UK, Cornwall Council has had some tough decisions to make when faced with substantial cuts in funding from central Government. Rather than close libraries, however, the council has worked with town and parish councils and community groups throughout Cornwall to transfer ownership of these much-loved services to local communities.
Councillor Edwina Hannaford, portfolio holder for neighbourhoods, said: “The members of Par Track Limited are dedicated to their local community and securing access to facilities for their residents,” she said.
“The group’s proactive approach has meant that residents can continue to visit a library in the town, as opposed to us potentially having to introduce a mobile library stop. I commend Par Track Ltd for the excellent service they are providing to their community.”
The new library will initially be open at the same times and on the same days as the current one. Par Track Ltd has plans, subject to the availability of funding, to create a new library space in the future, which they hope will allow them to provide a more comprehensive service and to extend the opening hours.