The 60th birthday of Goring Library has been marked in style with 1950s-themed activities.
Staff at the Mulberry Lane library were joined by more than 200 residents for the celebrations on Thursday.
There was an exhibition of past photographs, together with books and films of the 1950s.
Community librarian Lyndsey Power said it was a much-loved library that regularly hosted several popular activities for adults and children.
“The library has come a long way from its humble beginnings,” she said.
“It currently houses almost 20,000 items of stock and in a single year was visited over 63,000 times.
“There are five members of staff, many of whom have years of experience and know the majority of customers by name. They are also supported by a small team of volunteers who help with computer queries, children’s activities and taking books to housebound readers in the community.”
The regular Thursday baby rhyme time was given a teddy theme for the birthday special, complete with instruments and puppets.
A teddy bears’ picnic in the sunshine followed and the children were able to play on the lawn with the library’s parachutes and toys.
In the afternoon, staff donned 1950s fancy dress and put on a tea party. Samantha Herron and Tina Green cut a birthday cake to share.
Lyndsey said: “Many customers joined in playing games on the lawn in the glorious autumn sunshine, while others took time to view the old photographs and sing along to the ‘50s music.
“Everybody had such nice things to say about the library and the ‘Goring Girls’, as the staff are affectionately known. One lady even wrote in to say that the library ‘changed my life’. She had been a Saturday girl there during the 1980s and went on to become a qualified librarian in London but it had all started in Goring Library.”
Goring’s first public library began lending books on November 29, 1929. This was a small collection of 300 books, which were available to browse two or three evenings a week in a classroom at Goring School. The classroom was hired out at £12 per annum.
As Goring’s population grew, library customers bgan demanding more choice of stock and better facilities.
In 1952, with the help of a £5,000 bequest made by Mr R.J. Porter, Worthing Borough Council decided to purchase approximately half an acre of land on which the new branch library was to be built.
Plans were drawn up by chief architect A.R. Tipling and work began in November 1955. The building was completed nine months later and was officially opened by Edward Sydney, president of the Library Association.
These days, there is plenty for all ages to enjoy. The weekly toddler time sessions are lively and fun, and the adult colouring group set a county record when more than 30 people turned up for the inaugural session.
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