Sunday, 29 November 2020

Campaigners and staff mark 25th birthday of library saved from axe

SCORES of villagers attended a party at Woodcote library to celebrate the service’s 25th anniversary on

SCORES of villagers attended a party at Woodcote library to celebrate the service’s 25th anniversary on Saturday.

They included regular users, staff and previous managers Julie Warner, Gillian Amos and Vicky Jordan.

Part-time worker Laura Prior baked a commemorative cake in the shape of an owl surrounded by dozens of miniature “books” made of icing to recognise the efforts of the Our Woodcote Library campaigners to keep the service running.

The group, which Mrs Jordan  co-founded in 2010 to oppose Oxfordshire County Council funding cuts, formally handed over £250 worth of books donated by the community.

These will be marked with stickers of thanks before they go on the shelves. The stickers were designed by former work experience student John Hobbs, who lives in the village and returned from university to attend the celebration.

Veronica Angel, who worked for the county council’s library service when the Reading Road library was launched in 1991, spoke about its history.

The red brick building dates back more than a century and originally housed the village school before it was taken over by Langtree School, which still owns it.

It was previously used as a music room and a spare classroom.

Originally, Woodcote didn’t have a library and relied on a mobile service visiting every Monday evening but the council agreed to establish one due to demand. Manager Jo Green said: “We held the party on a Saturday because we wanted as many people from the community as possible to be there. We’re very glad that it was so well-attended.

“I think the children showed great patience in waiting half an hour before the cake was served — it looked absolutely incredible and they couldn’t wait to get stuck into it.

“Libraries are generally pretty threatened at the moment so we wanted to celebrate. It’s great that we’re still here and have such incredible support from the village.

“Everyone who came thought it was a fantastic celebration of what we’ve achieved. We have a great team who really believe in the importance of libraries, literacy and education.”

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