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Whitchurch group hoping to save library give out prizes

A GROUP fighting the closure of Whitchurch Library gave out prizes to children who had taken part in designing a new art space for the building.

The competition was set up by Arts Whitchurch Eglwys Newydd (AWEN) to encourage young people to get involved with the library and to draw attention to the council that the space is important to the community.

Photo by Pendre Sims.

Photo by Pendre Sims.

Tabatha Morgans received first place for her design and was presented with an award from Cardiff North AM, Julie Morgan.

Julie Morgan with Tabatha Morgans. Photo by Pendre Sims.

Julie Morgan with Tabatha Morgans. Photo by Pendre Sims.

Lucy Morgans, Tabatha’s mother, said: “Tabatha’s so excited to have won, she hasn’t stopped talking about it.

“I think it’s great that she feels like she’s getting to have a say in the library, taking away the idea that the library is just for adults.”

Lucy Morgans said the family had always used the library and Tabatha often goes to pick books to read to her sister.

Julie Morgan said: “This is a very exciting event, it’s so wonderful to see the imaginative ideas the children have for the library.

“It’s great that the children have been able to draw attention to what can be done with the space.

“That we have people to run the workshops like this with such enthusiasm for the arts is fantastic.”

AWEN are waiting for the local elections to see if the library will still receive government funding and be able to stay open after May next year.

The council has agreed to keep funding the Library until the end of the current council term in May, when the new councillors will have to decide whether to continue the support.

Plans to cut funding to Whitchurch and six other libraries in Cardiff were dropped in February this year after a negative reception by the public.

Whitchurch Library

Whitchurch Library

If the library is kept open, AWEN hope to be able to get grants for use towards replacing shelves, making repairs to the roof and windows, and possibly making the art space a reality.

Judith Evans, secretary of AWEN, said: “This event is one of many we’ve had recently.

“AWEN want to draw to people’s attention to the fact that the library is at risk, to demonstrate to the council that the library is a valuable local resource.”

The treasurer for AWEN, Anthony Evans, said that it was unfortunate that even a busy library could face closure.

Photo by Pendre Sims

Photo by Pendre Sims

The group hopes that events like this will encourage volunteers to come and get involved at the library, not just in their campaign, but also in clubs or events.

Judith said: “We’ve had a lot of interest in volunteering, but we’d love more young people to get involved.

“There is a girl from the local high school who wants to open a classics club and we’d like to see that be open to everyone.”

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