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Date added: 03 January 2006

Week of Words in Swindon 

New Library Swindon
Buried in Books:
it's been a week of words in Swindon
Forget I-Pods, Sat-navs and PSPs, Swindon was fully booked this week, as communities around the town celebrated the wisdom of words and the love of literature.

Thursday was International Book Day, as groups all over Swindon shared their love of the written word with group readings and discussions.

One particular novel that has been on the lips of many Swindonians is Jules Vernes' Around the World in Eighty Days.

The classic travel adventure has been central in the celebrations of Brunel's 200th birthday, the man whose travel innovations made such adventures possible.

Stephanie Tye from the Swindon Advertiser says the Great Reading Adventure has been met with an extremely enthusiastic response by local bookworms.

Thursday was International Book Day, as groups all over Swindon shared their love of the written word with group readings and discussions.

One particular novel that has been on the lips of many Swindonians is Jules Vernes' Around the World in Eighty Days.
The classic travel adventure has been central in the celebrations of Brunel's 200th birthday, the man whose travel innovations made such adventures possible.

Stephanie Tye from the Swindon Advertiser says the Great Reading Adventure has been met with an extremely enthusiastic response by local bookworms.
 
Library Swindon
Great Reading Adventure:
Around the World in
Eighty Days
"The town's libraries have issued more than 1000 copies of the novel since January 5," says Stephanie, who has helped coordinate the Brunel 200 celebrations.

"Putting Wallace and Gromit on the front cover definitely proved a hit with young and old alike and helped catch the attention of many who might not otherwise have picked up Verne's classic."

Elsewhere staff and students at New College have been celebrating 'Word Week' all week, leading up to World Book Day.

The week was coordinated by Essential Skills Manager Chris Brock.

"Initiatives like this not only contribute to the College's lively and friendly environment, but they also demonstrate our commitment to meeting national Skills for Life targets," says Chris.
 
Getting arty:
pupils from Gorse Hill Infant School
getting into Word Week

With all proceeds from the week being shared out between local children's cancer charity CALM and the Swindon Food Bank, students and staff have been encouraged to participate in wide ranging activities including a writing competition, ambush poetry, an American style Spelling Bee contest, and a BBC Raw quiz.

The event to attract most attention though was a 12 hour sponsored read of Alice in Wonderland by fifty of the College's ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) students in the library.

The students, who represent a broad spectrum of nationalities, embraced the challenge and managed to raise over three hundreds pounds for the charities, as well as raising their own confidence a great deal.

Many of them have been studying Lewis Carroll's fantasy adventure as their set text this term, because it was recently named as the ultimate symbol of Britishness over 150 years after it was first published.

In true British tradition the students read the book around a tea party that the Mad Hatter himself would have been proud of.

New library

But the biggest celebration of the week among bookworms was
reserved for the news that Swindon will finally have a new Central Library.
Novel idea:
 a view of the proposed new library extension to
the Town Hall from the top of Commercial Road

Swindon Borough Council have revealed that building for the new 10 million library will begin in August this year, with an opening date of May 2008.

The new eye-catching red brick structure will form the focal point for the regeneration of Swindon Town Centre, bringing the lending and reference libraries together under one roof.

Councillor Justin Tomlinson, Lead Member for Culture, Leisure and Recreation, said: "We want this building to be appreciated for many generations, which is why it will be solidly-built from red brick, with quality stonework. It sets the standard for the rest of the town centre regeneration."

Replacing the unappealing and vastly outdated mobiles, the new triple-floored library will boast a glass cylindrical feature entrance the full height of the building, providing a 'reading room with a view'. There will also be a landscaped central courtyard replacing the rusty bench and bike racks.

In the future: a view of the proposed new library from the bottom of Victoria Road

The ground floor will house a double height entrance lobby, main reception, toilets, general library space, children's library and leisure zone.

There will be more of a youthful feel to the first floor, which will include a 'teen zone', homework club, doors to a roof terrace, as well as more general library space an another leisure zone.

Finally, a second floor will consist of more library space, a quiet zone and local studies area, including circular reading room within the entrance tower.

In the meantime, the portable buildings that Swindonians have known and loathed for thirty years will be removed and a temporary home will be announced shortly, to be opened in June 2006.
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