Thursday, 26 November 2020

Villagers demand return of librarian

RESIDENTS are demanding the return of Wargrave’s librarian.

RESIDENTS are demanding the return of Wargrave’s librarian.

Scores of people have signed a petition calling on Wokingham Borough Council to reinstate Ros Fernley, who was moved to Woodley library earlier this year after taking a six-week break due to illness.

She took over at the library in Church Street, Wargrave, in 2008 and set up various activities, including a bridge club and coffee mornings.

Residents claim that since her departure the service has gone downhill and she is being badly missed.

The petition reads: “We the undersigned are appealing to the head of Wokingham libraries to please return our librarian, Ros Fernley, to Wargrave. Ros is the face of Wargrave library, always with a welcoming smile and so very helpful. She is missed enormously; she knows everyone who enters the doors.

“The popularity of the library and its community spirit is due in no small measure to Ros’s presence and the activities which she has introduced, such as storytime, crafts and laughs, coffee mornings, bridge, book club, Bookworms, Knitwits, author visits, World Book Night and the latest initiative, i-help.”

A note at the bottom pledges the support of local children who use the library for reading and craft sessions.

More than 120 people have signed the petition, which was put up in Victoria News and post office in Victoria Road. It will be presented to John Halsall, who represents the village on the borough council.

Mrs Fernley lives in Wargrave and was involved in this year’s village festival, where she hosted a talk by author Joanna Trollope at Woodclyffe Hall.

Parish councillor Marion Pope said she believed Mrs Fernley wanted to return.

She said: “There’s a problem with the library in that our librarian is employed at Woodley now. The residents want to bring Ros back. The library has become a hub for the village — anyone can go in for reading sessions and she got a lot of children in as well. That hub has now been lost.”

Councillor Halsall said: “I will certainly be supporting this petition. I don’t know too much about what’s happening but I’m obligated to present this petition to the council.

“I am aware of situation behind Ros leaving the library, which was down to her ill health.”

The parish council also agreed to support the petition. Clerk Stephen Hedges said: “We should support the actions of our borough councillors in preserving the services of our library.”

A borough council spokesman said: “We are unable to discuss matters of a personal nature concerning any individual’s employment.

“However, we are confident that the residents of Wargrave will still continue to receive the same high level of service within Wargrave library.”

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