Friday, 27 September 2013

The Forum

The new Forum library opens to the public on Monday morning and yesterday I had the opportunity of a sneak preview. I had visited a couple of times during the building work and had been impressed by the sheer scale and layout of the building and was not disappointed with the finished article. The Forum has a children's library, lecture theatre, Focal point Gallery, display area, café and fiction on the ground floor, non fiction public library on the first floor, university teaching accommodation on the first floor and college teaching accommodation on the second floor with a public square and screen outside. It is the first library in delivered in partnership between local authority, university and college in the country and has been built on time and on budget. It is an excellent example of true partnership working which will continue with it's on going joint management arrangements. It has transformed the old and derelict Farringdon car park and is the final part of the puzzle comprising the college building, university building, university accommodation block and multi storey car park. It opens up to the public access to over a million academic publications owned by the uni and college and with major investment in new materials demonstrates our true commitment to the future of the public library service in the Town. I urge everybody to visit as soon as you can - I guarantee that if you like libraries you will love the Forum Southend.

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