New chapter as Knebworth community library gets novel temporary home

Knebworth Community Library has temporarily moved into space at St Martin's Church, Knebworth while

Knebworth Community Library has temporarily moved into space at St Martin's Church, Knebworth while its site on St Martin’s Road is redeveloped. Picture: Google street view. - Credit: Archant

A church has become the temporary home for a community library while its new permanent site is built.

Knebworth Community Library can now be found in St Martin’s Church, on the corner of St Martin’s Road and London Road, in a move to retain the popular book and resources hub at the heart of the village.

Built in the 1960s, the old Knebworth Library is being demolished and rebuilt as part of a co-location project, which will see it sharing the existing library site with a doctor’s surgery, clinic and pharmacy.

Work is expected to take a year.

The new library space contains all the books from the old library, two public PCs, a photocopier, self-serve kiosk, library link and plenty of space to browse and read.

The increasingly popular Baby Rhyme Time will operate in a carpeted area at the back of the church.

Volunteers also provide tea, coffee and games on Monday afternoons.

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Hertfordshire County Council’s assistant director for customer engagement and library resources Taryn Pearson-Rose said: “This is a very inventive use of community resources and a unique setting for a library, which will provide a new and different experience for users.

“We are grateful to St Martin’s Church for allowing us the loan of their beautiful church and we hope that many residents will take advantage of the library’s very novel location while the new centre is being built.”

New lighting, power, data and network have been installed as part of the temporary library works.

Churchwarden Mark Clifford said: “We see the library move into the church building as an integral part of our aim to be a church at the heart of the local community, serving that community and working with it as part of our mission.

“The well-lit library area has blended beautifully with the fabric of the building and is enabling us to offer a place for people to enjoy afternoon tea, share needs, pray and reflect.

“Both the regular congregation and the library staff appear to be enjoying the library’s temporary home.”

The library opening hours remain unchanged: 2pm-6pm Monday to Thursday and 9am-1pm on Saturday.