On 15 December 2010, Somerset County Council announced that it was proposing to close 20 of its 34 libraries. On the list was Wiveliscombe Library. On the evening of Friday 7 January 2011, 222 people attended a meeting in Wiveliscombe to voice their opposition to the closure and to form the Friends of Wiveliscombe Library (FOWL).
About the Library
The library is located in The Square right in the middle of the town. It is heavily used, especially by children, book clubs, people who don’t have home access to a computer, students and everyone else who just wants to read a book. It’s a vital part of the town’s infrastructure, and local shops report how many people shop with them after a visit to the library.
For many years the library was located in The Courthouse, but in 2010 it moved across the road to a shop unit owned by the Co-operative Group. They spent £66,000 fitting it out, and now have a 10 year lease paying £7,500 per year rent.
Wiveliscombe Library has 2,216 registered active users of which 545 are children and 37 are housebound. The Library is open three and a half days a week. Before the move to the new building it was open two and a half days. In its last 6 months in the old building there were 24 new enrolments, in the last 6 months, in the new building, there have been 125 enrolments and these are rising day by day. In the last 12 months over 12,000 people have used the Library.