New town centre library opens in Stafford

People in Stafford are enjoying a brand new modern library bringing innovation, information, culture and learning resources to the town.

10 Sept 2015

 undefinedStafford Library

Where reading, technology and innovation meet

The new library in the centre of town opened its doors to the public on 9th
September. The library will not only offer access to books and resources for members of the public, but a range of modern facilities for businesses, community groups, schools and colleges.

Offering the latest in technology, the library is more accessible, with a more flexible space. New digital touch tables will give people easier access to online resources and information, archives and photographs.

The new Innovation Suite offers access to 3D printing, supporting people and businesses to design and develop new products and prototypes, while Raspberry Pi’s will be available to help children and teenagers learn coding and other computer science skills needed for the jobs of the future.

Fulfilling a vision

The vision for this flagship library is to utilise the Innovation Suite and its technology to promote innovation, support local enterprise, enable creativity and learning and support the government’s digital agenda.

The Innovation Suite will enable Staffordshire’s people to access a diverse mix of state of the art technology alongside existing technology to promote education and enterprise through:

- 3 D printing
- Raspberry Pi
- Adult and children’s Digi-tables
- Tablet devices for web browsing and reading
- Touch-screen information points
- Wi-Fi access
- Wi-Fi printing
- Digital signage
- Public PCs
- Printing, photocopying and scanning

Cllr Ben Adams, Cabinet Member for Learning and Skills at Staffordshire County Council said: “It really has something for everyone. There is space for groups to meet, for reading groups, local history talks, jobs advice sessions and cultural and craft activities and much more and it's all on one floor for ease of use.”

Organisations will be able to offer adult learning courses and support local artists and the new children and teens areas will provide space and facilities for young people to learn, meet and explore.

The new library is a great example of how libraries can be revitalised to be at the centre of people’s lives now and in the future, whether they want to live, learn, work or socialise.

Designed with the user in mind

The Stafford Library is a modestly sized town library, but embraces all the innovative possibilities that new technology and thoughtful design can bring.

The layout was designed by Opening the Book, and the shelving and display units encourage users to ‘discover’ the library and its services without being overwhelmed by the range on offer. The help point is discovered along the way.

The children’s area has a ‘green’ theme to make a subliminal link to Staffordshire’s many green open spaces.

Self-service technology permits an out of hours service, too – with staff freed up to focus on the reader and the information seeker.