After 24 years librarian Rowena Hensman has put away her last book at Kingsclere library. The library is no longer being run by Hampshire County Council but has been saved from closure and has re-opened as a community library.
Rowena and two other librarians; Jo Quittenton and Andrew Bolton who covered for Rowena, were thanked for everything they have done at a special afternoon tea party at the Village Club. Jo, who worked at the library for seven years took a special interest in the Children’s library and ran baby rhyme time as well as arts and craft classes for the local youngsters. All three were presented with gifts from the people of Kingsclere in recognition of their contribution to the village.
“I loved my time working at Kingsclere library and I couldn’t have asked for a better place to work. It was a joy to be there,” said Rowena, who officially retires from the library service in June. “Everyone was always so nice and pleasant.”
Since Rowena started working at the library in 1991 there have been a lot of changes, the biggest being the introduction of the computerised system. Before that everything was hand written in cards into each book.
Another change Rowena has noticed is the fewer number of school children coming in to the library to use reference books for their homework.
“Everyone has computers at home now and they do their research for their homework on line,” said Rowena.
One of the biggest joys for Rowena has been enrolling generations of families into the library. She has enrolled parents, then their children and then their grandchildren. “It’s been lovely seeing the families grow,” she added.
After some refurbishment the library has re-opened as a community library and is being run completely by volunteers. The opening hours are the same.
“I have handed the library over to the people of Kingsclere and I hope that everyone will support and use it,” said Rowena.