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Thomas Aveling Community library in Rochester will close

By Amy Nickalls

A library in Medway will be closed as part of a shake up of local services.

Thomas Aveling Community library will shut after a public consultation which ran between April and June of this year. The reason for the closure has been put down to limited opening hours and low use.

A report from the council reads: “The decision to close Thomas Aveling library is due to it being a poorly performing library, with limited use.

Thomas Aveling Community Library will close
Thomas Aveling Community Library will close

“There is no scope to improve the library offer, as has been achieved elsewhere, due to the fixed and limited opening hours, with the library only available Monday to Friday from 3pm, not the most popular time that the public make use of libraries.

“Alternative and better facilities and services for all users are available at other libraries, particularly the community hubs and these form a key part of a range of mitigation proposals that can be put into place.”

Last year the library only issued 13,692 books compared to Gillingham where 150,165 books were borrowed, the most in Medway.

The council was considering the move to help save £95,000 from the libraries budget. It is also now looking for people to help at Grain library on Chapel Road.

Grain Library, Chapel Road, Grain
Grain Library, Chapel Road, Grain

A job description has been posted on the website asking for confident and reliable people who have some basic crafts and computer skills.

In an email seen by the Medway Messenger earlier this year, it was suggested that Grain was the least visited of the Towns’ libraries.

It read: “Grain is the least well used of all of Medway’s libraries but the council does not wish to withdraw from this community.

“Staff have made great effort with activities to increase usage but success has been limited.

“This is a challenging project as volunteers are hard to come by, but the library service has a track record of working with its friends and other volunteers.”

If you would like to volunteer, visit the council’s website www.medway.gov.uk

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