DROYLSDEN Library is all set to turn a new page. The Manchester Road building that was in use for 84 years closes on Saturday, August 28, and on Thursday, September 9, the service reopens in the smart, modern surroundings of next-door Guardsman Tony Downes House.
The move follows a month-long consultation which took place earlier this year and takes in all the recommendations and priorities outlined by the public.
Chief among these were a fully accessible lay-out with everything on ground-floor level, accessible public toilets, up-to-date PCs and printers, free wi-fi, a community room, a children's area big enough to accommodate class visits and activities, and space for events, work and study.
There is a designated area for teenagers, a wide selection of large-print and talking books, a choice of seating, and forward-facing displays to make book selection easier. The move also meets a desire that the library should stay in the town centre.
All these facilities represent a major improvement on the old Droylsden Library which was built before the war and has a T-shape and three-floor configuration which restricts access, especially for prams and wheelchairs.
The move to Guardsman Tony Downes House, which opened in 2015, will help to future-proof the library so that it can be enjoyed by the community for generations to come.
Cllr Leanne Feeley, Tameside Council's executive member with responsibility for libraries, said: "It may only be a very short distance from the old Droylsden Library to its new home, but the two sites are light years apart in terms of what they offer. Guardsman Tony Downes House is a modern, accessible and sustainable town-centre building.
"I'm so excited about the new chapter that's opening for the people of Droylsden. They are now going to be able to enjoy library services that have been brought right up to date in a better and brighter way."
Guardsman Tony Downes House was named by Tameside Council as part of their Honour our Fallen pledge in memory of 20-year-old Droylsden resident Tony Downes who was killed in Afghanistan in 2007 while serving with the 1st Battalion, Grenadier Guards.