A NEW service to fill the void left by the closure of Wash Common Library is set to start this weekend.
The Friends of Wash Common Library group are planning to start a book exchange, where people bring a book they have read and exchange it for any in the Friends’ collection.
The Friends said it was hoped that the book exchange will fill a gap until they can raise enough funds to re-open the library on a permanent basis later this year.
Wash Common Library closed last April after West Berkshire Council said it could no longer afford to run the building.
The closure was one of a range of measures taken to save around £580,000 a year within the library service.
The book exchange follows a survey carried out by the Friends group, which showed that people missed being able to visit somewhere locally for books, to meet others and feel part of their local community.
One respondent said: “I could visit frequently and easily as a local facility.
“When visiting I would interact with other people of a wide age range in my community.
“I also value the importance of the library providing books for children and those with restricted finance.”
Another said: “It was a lovely local resource to have so close.
“With a young child, having the rhyme time session was also fantastic.”
And another said: “As an OAP, I find it so difficult to travel and carry books into town and I miss the staff.”
The first exchange will be held on Saturday, from 10am until noon, at Wash Common Community Centre in Glendale Avenue.
Any donations of books, before or on the day, are welcome.
Refreshments will be available, and people can have a coffee and a chat.
They can complete the questionnaire and show their support for re-opening Wash Common Library at www.washcommonlibrary.org.uk