Kettering Library’s original opening ceremony will be re-enacted this Sunday (12th May) as part of a grand reopening event organised to celebrate the restoration of the Northamptonshire County Council building.
In March 2012, the Friends of Kettering Library group launched an appeal to restore the historic building to its former glory.
The county council kicked off the fundraising with an initial investment of £250,000 to restore the ancient wooden parquet flooring, which has been in place since the library was first opened more than 100 years ago.
As well as replacing the floor, the work also included redecorating the interior of the library, updating the lighting and re-opening the library’s grand entrance on to Sheep Street. Kettering Borough Council also funded the refurbishment of the toilet.
To celebrate the completion of this work, the Friends of Kettering Library group alongside the county council have together organised a special event which will include a re-enactment of the original library opening in 1904, featuring a special visit from ‘Andrew Carnegie’ himself.
Councillor Heather Smith, who has overseen the fundraising and refurbishment project, said: “Everyone is welcome to join us on this historic occasion and help celebrate the restoration of Kettering Library.
“The library is one of town’s most eye-catching and historic buildings and is visited by more than 800 people every day. The building is more than a century old so it’s not surprising it needed some attention and it’s been great to see the Friends of Kettering Library group and local community support this fundraising effort.
“I would also like to thank all of our customers for their patience while this work has been taking place. I hope you will all agree that it has been very worthwhile.”
As part of the celebrations, events will take place at Kettering Library from Friday 10th May until Sunday 19th May. For more information or to book a place, please visit the library. Information is also available on the Kettering Library Facebook page.
Friday 10 - Job fair (10am to 2pm)
Saturday 11 - Act Out Theatre Company presents Winnie the Witch and Professor Puffendorf (3pm)
Sunday 12 - Reopening of the front doors (2.15pm)
Tuesday 14 - Special Rhymetime for the under 5s
Wednesday 15 - Tea Dance (12 – 2pm) followed by refreshments
Thursday 16 - Act Out Theatre Company presents Horrid Henry (5pm)
Friday 17 - Get Involved – find out how you can volunteer at Kettering Library
Saturday 18 - Friends coffee morning – and book sale
Sunday 19 - Act Out Theatre Company presents Gangsta’ Granny (1.30pm)