Welwyn Hatfield primary school unveils brand new library

PUBLISHED: 12:08 12 November 2018 | UPDATED: 12:15 12 November 2018

Guests at the opening of St John's Primary School's new library. Picture: DANNY LOO

Guests at the opening of St John's Primary School's new library. Picture: DANNY LOO

©2018 Archant

A Welwyn Hatfield primary school is turning over a new leaf - literally - with a bright new library project.

A cake made by a parent at the opening of St John's Primary School's new library. Picture: DANNY LOOA cake made by a parent at the opening of St John's Primary School's new library. Picture: DANNY LOO

Amidst mammoth fundraising efforts from parents, the PTA and Friends of St John’s C of E primary school, the library has now been brightened up with exciting new books, shelving and seating - all aimed at inspiring a love for reading in young people.

The space at the Disgwell school has been extended into the foyer area, and two afternoons a week parent volunteers will help staff it as a lending library.

They’re glad to update the library, as one of the older books dated back to 1972.

Some old books have been sold or donated to charity, while high-quality older books were still kept on.

St John's Primary School's new library. Picture: DANNY LOOSt John's Primary School's new library. Picture: DANNY LOO

Speaking at the opening on November 8, headteacher Simon Horleston said: “There is nothing more rewarding than giving young children the gift of reading, and we wanted to create a warm and vibrant space in which we could do just that.

“I know that the new space will inspire and challenge our children in equal measure, giving them a lifelong love of reading.”

He was joined by Welwyn Hatfield Mayor Barbara Fitzsimon and local author Alice Hemming.

They’re still fundraising for more new books via initiatives like their ‘sponsor a book’ project and fundraising events such as their fireworks night on Saturday, November 10, and the upcoming Christmas fair on December 8.

St John's Primary School head Simon Horleston welcomes guests at the opening of the new library. Picture: DANNY LOOSt John's Primary School head Simon Horleston welcomes guests at the opening of the new library. Picture: DANNY LOO

Despite a wild and windy evening, the fireworks lit up the night and the PTA and Friends of St John’s were also able to present a cheque for £1747.85 raised so far from the ‘sponsor a book’ initiative.

But the challenge continues to finish replacing 80 per cent of the books.

“A further investment of £5,000 is required to complete our book replacement programme, and if local people or businesses would like to help, I would personally love to hear from you,” said Mr Horleston. “I’m very open to discussing what we can offer in return.”

Tickets for the fundraising events can be obtained from the school office.

Mayor Cllr Barbara Fitzsimon speaks at the opening of St John's Primary School's new library. Picture: DANNY LOOMayor Cllr Barbara Fitzsimon speaks at the opening of St John's Primary School's new library. Picture: DANNY LOO

Mayor Cllr Barbara Fitzsimon officially opens St John's Primary School's new library with head Simon Horleston. Picture: DANNY LOOMayor Cllr Barbara Fitzsimon officially opens St John's Primary School's new library with head Simon Horleston. Picture: DANNY LOO

Mayor Cllr Barbara Fitzsimon (centre) and local author Alice Hemming (centre left) officially opens St John's Primary School's new library with head Simon Horleston, staff, PTA and members of St John's student council. Picture: DANNY LOOMayor Cllr Barbara Fitzsimon (centre) and local author Alice Hemming (centre left) officially opens St John's Primary School's new library with head Simon Horleston, staff, PTA and members of St John's student council. Picture: DANNY LOO

Mayor Cllr Barbara Fitzsimon (centre) and local author Alice Hemming (centre left) officially opens St John's Primary School's new library with head Simon Horleston, staff, PTA and members of St John's student council. Picture: DANNY LOOMayor Cllr Barbara Fitzsimon (centre) and local author Alice Hemming (centre left) officially opens St John's Primary School's new library with head Simon Horleston, staff, PTA and members of St John's student council. Picture: DANNY LOO

Local author Alice Hemming reads one of her books to members of St John's student council at the opening of the new library. Picture: DANNY LOOLocal author Alice Hemming reads one of her books to members of St John's student council at the opening of the new library. Picture: DANNY LOO

Local author Alice Hemming reads one of her books to members of St John's student council at the opening of the new library. Picture: DANNY LOOLocal author Alice Hemming reads one of her books to members of St John's student council at the opening of the new library. Picture: DANNY LOO

Local author Alice Hemming reads one of her books to members of St John's student council at the opening of the new library. Picture: DANNY LOOLocal author Alice Hemming reads one of her books to members of St John's student council at the opening of the new library. Picture: DANNY LOO

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