Hastings Library – what a beautiful place!

At long last, the refurbished Hasings Library has opened and Battleaxe went to have a look. It is absolutely fantastic, and we should be proud. But not good about closure of Ore Library.  What, you may say, two posts in two days – well, I had to do this one….

    First… the big BUT. Wonderful though the place is, it does not justify the closure of our local Ore Library. This is a much needed – and sadly neglected – facility serving some of the most deprived communities in the whole country, never mind in East Sussex. The County Council should be ashamed of themselves.  Sure, they say that all residents can access the town centre easily by bus, but the prices of bus fares from Ore are prohibitive…
     Next, I’ll also say that replacing a professionally run and resourced Library service with a community-led so-called ‘substitute’ led by volunteers is no solution, anad again, a disgraceful fudge from ESCC. Battleaxe understands that a local community group has been ‘negotiating’ with the council to take over the service… oh dear, sigh. Our WI did initially join the campaign to keep Ore Library open, and ESCC suggested that we might make a proposal to them for running the library. No way did we have the expertise or resources to run a library service. Some of our members might enjoy volunteering to read to children or stamp books, but this is only a tiny fraction of the task. Anyway, we were not going to interfere with the local campaign by talking to ESCC…. but turns out that others did not think the same way….
     Having got that off my chest, let’s go down to the town centre and look at the new Library. (Thinks – maybe ESCC would do better to subsidise travel down to town rather than wasting money messing about with second-rate community services).
    As before, it is housed in the historic Brassey Institute, and every effort has been made to maximise the use of the building (all four floors – much-needed lift in place, thank goodness). It is light and bright, there are loos on every floor, seating areas, quiet areas, loads and loads of computer terminals on every floor, a lovely children’s library, great views out of the windows… what’s not to like?  I urge all Hastings residents to use the place.  Only thing I would say – fiction is split over two floors – I like mine all in one place. But that’s small thing. Here are a load of pictures…


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