Rosehill Library history

16 May

It’s a modest little building in what one writer has described as “a Victorian railway suburb” on the east of Ipswich, but it means a lot to its borrowers and the local community. Rosehill Readers has made available on the web the research so far into the history of the library and the vicinity. It brings home the context in which the branch – and Rosehill Readers as a group – operates. The cultural significance of a local public library branch cannot be over-emphasised and at a time of pressure on educational institutions, not to mention static or falling family incomes, the free local library service becomes of ever greater importance.

From the historical documents assembled so far, it is clear that public libraries started as an ‘optional extra’ for local authorities, lucky to get any public funding whatsoever, and often reliant on philanthropy to develop. Let’s hope that we’re not returning to those dark days.

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