Although a well-loved facility it was a 1970’s design, showing its age with outdated features such as a brown film covering the large windows, originally applied to protect the books.
The 2018 discussions concluded that the design was outdated, that the technology space did not fit the current (nor future) use, and as the large building was under-utilised, it was a space that could provide more services for residents in a modernised environment, and at the same time, safeguard funding which could be used elsewhere on other vital services.
There was a public consultation, with a large response which was overwhelmingly positive, providing views which helped form early design concepts.
Refurbishment and consolidation of services could provide a centralised point “one front door” open every day, becoming more user centric.
Upon award, the FG Library design team worked closely with the Worthing Library stakeholders to bring to fruition designs to accommodate the different functions of each service. Working together to understand the practical and emotional needs of all stakeholders.
Each new service which was being integrated into the building had specific requirements:
• Anti-natal clinic – NHS colleagues required space for expectant mothers, a waiting area and desking for workspace for the midwives.
• Health visitor clinic – dual space, where twice weekly the health visitor shares the space with the anti-natal service, with the same furniture requirements of easy maintenance and wipeable furniture.
• Registration Office for births, deaths and marriages – requiring 4 rooms and a waiting area. Relocated from the borough council, Worthing Registrar Office is one of the busiest registrar’s offices in West Sussex.
• Youth Emotional Support (YES) – requiring 4 rooms. An area to help young people feel welcome in an inclusive environment. Accommodating 1-2-1 counselling, the furniture layout with coffee tables and low seating chosen was informal and comfortable.
• Reflection shelving, storage, quiet seating, children’s area, young person’s library, audio and large print section, technology suite, information and support services, and an area where people can join.
“The library is going great guns thank you. We’ve had so many positive comments about the light, welcoming space. The children’s library is a hit.
The shelving throughout has been very well received and the layout on the ground floor in particular is awesome."