Books lovers welcomed to Horndean’s new library as Merchistoun Community Library opens to the public

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AN INDEPENDENT community library in Horndean has opened its doors to book lovers.

The Horndean Community Association officially opened the new Merchistoun Community Library on Monday.

Following the closure of Horndean library on Five Heads Road, trustees of the community association have been working in partnership with the Hampshire Library Service at Hampshire County Council to enable the conversion of the garden room at Merchistoun Hall, creating the new community library.

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Volunteers at Merchistoun Community Library.Volunteers at Merchistoun Community Library.
Volunteers at Merchistoun Community Library.

A set up grant of £10,000 was awarded by the library service to assist with the development and conversion of the room.

The original library’s books, shelving, fixtures, and fittings were also gifted to the new library.

Merchistoun Community Library will offer fiction, children’s books, teen books, a range of genres, and large print and audio books.

Some of the books donated to the library will be sold at a regular book sale on Friday mornings in the Community Association’s Parklands café.

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Money raised will go towards purchasing new books and the running of the library.

Brendan Charles, association manager of Horndean Community Association, said: ‘Please come and have a browse and then enjoy a cuppa in our Parklands café.

‘A big thank you’ to all the volunteers who have helped to bring this project to fruition.’

Around 20 volunteers run the library and have given their time to sort the thousands of books in the run-up to the library’s opening.

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Brendan added: ‘None of this could have been done without Tom and the team from C & G Construction who have done all the main building works – solving problems as they came up, until we had a new library and bookstore.

‘Tom and one of his young workers were also more than generous with their time and work van and voluntarily helped to bring all the books and furniture from the old library to their new home.

‘Tom also spent one Saturday putting up all the shelving in the new library room itself free of charge.’

Annual membership is £1 per adult and 50p per child over the age of five.

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The library space will also be available to hire for small sized meetings and book clubs.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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