The grand opening of the Lightbox saw the Mayor of Barnsley, Counsellor Pauline Markham, officially open the building with a special ribbon cutting ceremony, which was followed by speeches from Leader of Barnsley Council, Sir Stephen Houghton, Chief Executive Sarah Norman and Dan Jarvis, MP for Barnsley Central and Mayor of the Sheffield City Region.
Locals were then given the opportunity to go and explore the state-of-the-art community hub, while enjoying special live musical performances.
With its striking design and transparent glass exterior, the library will illuminate the new town square as the regeneration edges towards a 2021 completion.
Each of the unique four floors in the library provides a range of digital services including cutting-edge virtual reality, a training suite complete with a 65-inch interactive touch screen, tablet computers and a variety of innovative technology.
The fully accessible, modern building includes a sanctuary room for people with autism and will play host to a Music and Memories Group supported by the Alzheimer’s Society. The Makerspace lab on the ground floor will be used to promote interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) from a young age.
Meanwhile, the library’s events space will act as a multi-purpose venue able to hold large events, workshops and activities, while its rooftop terrace will offer fantastic views of the town centre.
Dan Jarvis, MP for Barnsley Central and Mayor of the Sheffield City Region, said:
“I am delighted that Barnsley Council have opened a brand-new central library. It is a fantastic resource for our town and will help to bring people together. As a former Shadow Libraries Minister, I have long championed the importance of libraries as a unique and important public space and I encourage our residents to make the best possible use of this brilliant new facility.”