Did you know Bramley Library? Well you won’t now. It’s the great new Bramley Hub! writes BLANCHE CHAMPION.
Go through the automatically opening door with its freshly burnished handles and the transformation hits you. The dark parquet floor has been stripped back to its original honey colour. Interior doors have been opened up; the skylight’s repaired – and light floods in.
The books are still there of course and you can sit on wonderfully comfortable chairs to browse through them at your ease. You can read a range of newspapers and get drinks too – with the necessary toilets nearby. Everything needed for a warm and civilised hour or so is here.
Children’s corner is one of the stars of the show. Beautiful little tables and chairs in bright primary colours with shelves of lovely books close by.
And what fantastic services; freephones for certain numbers; the digital job club and a wide range of customer help from Adult Social Care to Housing Leeds; Council tax – and many more.
The whole interior has been restored and redecorated with the greatest care and respect for the original building and fittings. Wherever you look, sensitive designs and décor complement our much loved heritage.
Some things are unchanged of course – the brilliant staff there to help and advise. No longer boiled alive or rained on through the leaky glass dome.
Warm thanks to our Leeds West MP Rachel Reeves and Councillors Caroline Gruen, Julie Heslewood and Kevin Ritchie who found such a splendid solution with Leeds Council to protect our library from the savage cut in funding from central government in London.
With them, a large number of concerned and talented people and organisations have worked with commitment and vision to give Bramley people the beautiful, friendly and quite wonderful resource we’ve long needed and deserve.
I spoke to one user who said: “I’ve been using this library for 60 years – and I love it – it’s wonderful.”
Use and enjoy our Hub; take your children over half term – ‘cos now its future success depends on us!.
Blanche Champion is secretary of the West Leeds & Bramley Credit Union.
What do you think of the new hub? Have your say in the comments below or the poll above.