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‘There’s no need to move the King’s Lynn library building’

Back in the late Seventies my dad used to take my sister and me to the library in Lynn most Tuesday evenings. We would hand in our books from the previous week, choose some new ones and start reading them in the car on the way home.

I remember one journey, particularly when a 10-year-old me asked my dad what the original purpose of the beautiful old building in London Road was. I was amazed when he said it had always been a library, donated to Lynn by philanthropist Andrew Carnegie many decades previously. Even at that age I appreciated its beauty.

Still, every morning, when I drive into town from the South Gates, I can’t help but be impressed by its majesty, and lately, I’m left wondering just why Norfolk County Council and West Norfolk Council are planning on moving it into town. I just don’t get it.

Yes, the Argos building is a lot more central, but I don’t believe a library has to be in the town centre. It’s somewhere you visit on its own in my experience, not as part of a shopping trip.

And as delighted as I am to hear our councils have ruled out turning the building into flats when it relocates to the new ‘community hub’, I would still prefer it kept as a library.

A process is now starting to find a community group to take on the grand old building. But what if there’s no fit? Will it be left to rot? Like the old Post Office building in Baxter’s Plain.

The process is well down the line now and so it seems it will go ahead, despite the efforts of tenacious borough councillor Alex Kemp, but to me, this really does seem a case of trying to fix something that was never broken.

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