TWO book-mad parents have helped Kidlington youngsters explore the magical world of reading with a refurbished library.
Kathy Webb and Cas Lester helped organise the £3,000 refurbishment at Edward Feild Primary School, Bicester Road.
Children’s illustrator and Oxford resident Korky Paul cut the ribbon at the new-look library this month.
He said: “In this day and age when libraries are being closed or turned into IT rooms, it gives me great pleasure to open a newly-renovated library at Edward Feild School in Kidlington.
“What is also so heartwarming is to see the passion and energy the school community put into the renovation.”
Old bookcases were removed and new trolleys, tables, chairs, about 100 extra books and new windows brought in.
It is part of efforts to engage pupils further in reading by the friends, which began with them volunteering at the library.
As managing editor for children’s books at Oxford University Press, Mrs Webb knows a thing or two about the importance of reading.
She said: “We have always realised it was a really lovely space but it wasn’t being used particularly well.
“Years ago we did have a dedicated librarian but she retired and it hasn’t got a full-time librarian now. Staff were finding it difficult to have time to sort it.”
The work has taken place thanks to the school’s fundraising efforts – including book sales – and £2,000 from the community budget of Maurice Billington, who represents Kidlington South on Oxfordshire County Council.
Clearing the shelves for recycling was one welcome task for the two mums.
Mrs Webb – who volunteers on a Wednesday from 10am to 2pm – said: “Some of the non-fiction books were really out of date.
“The oldest ones were about 20 years old. There were a lot of old photographs of computers and old phones before mobile phones were around.”
Mrs Webb – whose son Oscar, 12, attended the school and daughter Lucy, nine, is a pupil – said: “It is great now. It is such a bright open space. The children always pop in.
“Parents are so busy these days and might not have time to go to their local library.
“A school library where children can go in school time and pick out a lovely book is just pure escapism for them.”
Headteacher Cathryn Wilkes said: “We now have a bright and inspiring space for the children to visit with a great selection of books for them to choose from.
Edward Feild is a book-loving school and the refurbished library provides us with a way of encouraging the children to read for pleasure and develop a lifelong love of books.”
Each county councillor is given a £10,000 budget by the council each year to spend on projects in their division.
Conservative Mr Billington – who has also this financial year given £2,000 a piece to a youth group at Gosford Hill School and tuition at St Thomas More Catholic Primary School – praised the new library.
He said: “It is very good. I went to that school when I was young so I am quite passionate about it.”