Gone are the days of a library simply being home to endless books and a shushing librarian. Today a library is a hub of activity offering inspiration, access to computers, equipment and services and space to learn, read or reflect for everyone and anyone, and Exeter Library is no exception.
For this week’s #FinditinExeter we visited Emily, Exeter Library’s Centre Manager, to discover all that this wonderful (and FREE) community resource has to offer.
Alongside shelf after shelf of fiction and non-fiction bestsellers, foreign-language books, travel guides, maps and both a dedicated study and children’s area, Exeter Library offers so much more. From board games, DVDs, CDs, and both audio and e-books, to the use of the Library’s computers, printers and scanners, and access to their collection of online magazines and paid-for resources including Ancestry.com. With a FREE Devon Libraries Member Card, you are introducing yourself to an entire new world.
But this isn’t all that our city’s wonderful library offers. As an independent charity that is now commissioned, rather than owned, by the local authority, it has the flexibility to do new and exciting things.
In 2019 a library is so much more than books.
Exeter Library has a Business & Intellectual Property Centre specifically for individuals setting up new businesses. This centres offers access to one-to-one support, guidance on the library’s online market research resources and workshops with local entrepreneurs.
Equally, if you are creative they have a Fab Lab, a digital fabrication laboratory. Exeter’s is the first Fab Lab in a public library in the UK and offers 3D printing, laser cutters and more.
The library also hosts regular drop-in events such as parent and baby bounce and rhyme, early years story time, a shared reading group, IT drop-in sessions and a gadget day, alongside other pop-up workshops and arts events. As an Arts Council National Portfolio Organisation, Exeter Library gets funding for high quality arts events and activities.
For instance, did you know that our library recently housed a pop-up barbershop? Or that it commissioned a gigantic motion-censored art installation called The Bell Tower, which rang out when unexpecting visitors walked by? On another note, did you also know that the popular Real Food Store Café is located in Exeter Library? Serving up ethically sourced and freshly made food and drink.
The library also offers various social responsibility schemes including a Red Project Box for sanitary product donations that are then distributed to schools around Exeter, a Beauty Bank for unused beauty and hygiene products, and battery recycling and food waste points. Exeter Library also accepts good quality book donations, particularly bestsellers.
Exeter Library is there for everyone, delivers something for all, and needs to be supported in order for it to remain for the individuals that need it. So, what are you waiting for? Pop into Exeter Library, become a member and get involved today!