1: Hi Amy! Can you tell us a little about yourself......
I'm Amy, I have grown up in the area so the library played a big part of my childhood as I love reading. I could read all day if I had the time and I have a weird fascination with the old buildings especially in Newsham Park including Lister Library and the Orphanage.
2: You are currently volunteering to support the Lister Steps Carnegie Community Hub project. Can you please tell us more about this project and the work you are doing?
So far I have offered to help with anything I can. I have been leafleting with Kerry (in the rain!!!) trying to inform the local businesses and people of the work that is going on. Most people show an interest and there are a few opinions and conversations about their memories and ideas. It’s great to see what people think and even better when they come to the events and show support and give their thoughts.
3: How did you get involved in the project?
I heard that Lister Steps had bought the building and were trying to restore it. As I loved it so much as a child, I decided to see if there was any way I could help, a chance to be involved with the project.
4: What project event have you enjoyed most so far, and why?
I think I have enjoyed all aspects so far, including walking in the rain and posting leaflets through creepy old houses, but I liked the event at Lowlands best, seeing how they have done the same as we are trying. It was a great evening with all the different people who are interested and the presentation seeing all the different pictures and the history of the building.
5: What do you find interesting/special/unique about the former Andrew Carnegie Library?
I like the structure and design of the building, the domed doorway made it seem grand when entering, and the silence of being in a library only added to the effect. We were never allowed upstairs, and I spent half my time looking up at the balcony which was right above the counter. I'd often just sit in there for hours reading different books, my mum was happy to leave me in the younger section while she wandered around as well, she knew I'd still be glued to the spot in a book.
6: What memories do you have of the building?
Me and my mum used to visit the library at least once a week (more in the holidays) and look for all the latest books. We would walk across the park, normally with a dolls pram so that we could fit all the books in to carry them home!
7: Finally, what are your thoughts on Lister Steps plans to regenerate the building and reuse it as a community hub?
I am glad to see it being restored and can't wait for the finished product!! I think I am most excited about going upstairs at last. There are some good ideas for the different activities that might be planned and the image of a little place to go and chill, either on my own or with friends, it will be a nice time to sit and reminisce. Plus it’s great that the kids of Lister Steps will now have a permanent real indoor space with so much character.