New look for museum library

Steve Barnard and Christiane Kroebel filling up the new shelves at Whitby  Museum''w130304''Picture: Ceri Oakes

Steve Barnard and Christiane Kroebel filling up the new shelves at Whitby Museum''w130304''Picture: Ceri Oakes

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PAINSTAKING work is underway at the town’s museum to transform its library, thanks to the legacy of a Whitby man.

For many years, the volunteers who run the museum’s library have struggled to find space for its ever increasing number of books and archives.

Now work is underway after the volunteers drew up plans to create a new archive room in an outside storage room for the material, much of which is rare or unique.

It could not have been done until Whitby Town Council replaced the leaking roof, which was done last summer.

Last October, Diamond Builders cut a door from the library known as the Kendall Room into this area and renovated the space, to meet current standards for archives and a new three metre high shelving system was installed in December.

Work is now beginning to transfer the collections from the present overcrowded locations.

Honorary librarian and archivist Christaine Kroebel said: “The new room will enable us to care better for our unique collection of books, pamphlets and archives relating to the Whitby area.”

The work was paid for by the Thomas William Varley Roe Deceased Fund and happened solely because of the trustees’ endorsement of the society’s aims and objectives.

More change is also about to happen in the library office.

A second office is to be created out of a storeroom so that the library’s volunteers can have space to work on projects and cataloguing, leaving the library to researchers.

As this is happening, the museum’s geology and archaeology collections will move into the room vacated by the archives with new purpose-built shelving funded by Mr Roe’s legacy.

This will allow researchers to access our important Whitby area fossils.

It now looks likely that the library will not re-open until after Easter as the move is taking longer than expected.