Library has become hub for Pinehurst community
A FUTURE is being built for Pinehurst’s next and current generations, and the foundations are being put together by Pinetrees Library.
The library has become a hub for much of the community, with children wanting entertainment and education, and adults looking for information on jobs and access to computers for applications.
For parents too, activities put on by library staff give them the chance to meet friends, catch-up and exchange help and advice on caring for their youngsters.
One of the latest success stories at the library, open at the Pinetrees Community Centre since January 2012, is Rhyme Time, a 30-minute period of reading and singing with young children.
The idea has been running for several years, dating back to the library’s tenure at the building in The Circle currently occupied by One Stop convenience store, but has only caught on in popularity during the past nine months, with craft sessions drawing more families in.
Sharron Ashman, 51, is the library assistant who oversees the Monday morning activity.
She said: “The craft sessions have stopped now, but when they were being run alongside Rhyme Time, a lot more parents came in and showed interest.
“We’ve got a nice group of mums and kids here, and they have all grown up together.
“I think carrying this activity on into the summer holiday has helped a lot.
“Kids like habit and routine, and we didn’t want them to forget this activity.
“The mums seem just as pleased it was kept on into the summer months.”
Yesterday, there were 10 children and five adults in attendance at the rhyming and reading class.
Two of the mothers in attendance said the class had become an integral part of their Monday routine, such is their children’s enjoyment.
Mother-of-two Jayne Dowell, 34, of Pinehurst Road, said: “It obviously keeps the kids entertained throughout the summer holidays.
“We never really used it in the past, but when the Monday mornings started here, we really became attached to it.
“It’s important to meet people, both for me and the kids.”
Michelle Tizard, 30, of Piernik Close, also a mother-of-two, said: “He (her son) gets quite scared, so this is quite a nice one, because it’s smaller and calmer. It’s a 10-minute drive for me, which is more than worth it, for how comfortable the kids are here.
“It’s great meeting other mums and having the chance to chat whilst our kids are safe and in a nice environment.”
The library is open for 31.5 hours per week and is regularly used by out-of-work adults seeking job advice and application help, according to Ms Ashman.
There have been no criminal incidents or anti-social behaviour from teenagers at the centre for six months, thanks to regular liaison with the neighbourhood policing team, but the library does want to see more eight to 12-year-olds using the facility.
Ms Ashman is concerned that age group is missing out on valuable time at Pinetrees, but hopes it is down to the strength of nearby Swindon Academy’s own library, rather than a simple lack of interest.