A LIBRARY used by the community is set to close after school leaders decided they had to make better space of the facility for schoolchildren.

Maiden Erlegh School and Wokingham Borough Council have shared use of the library on Silverdale Road for 34 years.

However, councillors were told by those at Maiden Erlegh School that they wanted to terminate the lease to operate the library, meaning the site could be closed by the end of the school year.

The large number of students at Maiden Erlegh School pushed leaders into making the best use of the buildings.

A spokesman for the school said: “In a school that educates nearly 1800 students each day where space is at a premium, the school feels that the space currently occupied by the library can be utilised more appropriately to improve further the outcomes of the students at our school.

"Like most schools, increasingly we need to provide for a wider range of emotional wellbeing and behavioural needs.

"In addition to providing some additional administrative facilities, this space will allow us to strengthen our inclusion work further, thereby remaining true to our values of equality and inclusion.

We are determined that all students have fair access to our high quality curriculum and equal chances to achieve success. The extra space provided will better enable us to do this.”

The council will now review its options for the provision of library services to the residents in the area.

For more than three decades, pupils and the wider community have been able to benefit from the site, but the school formally activated the four-month notice period required to terminate the lease.

Councillor Norman Jorgensen, executive member for Environment, said: “Like many people, I will be sad to see the school close this popular local library and end the successful relationship between the council and the school.

"In recent years Wokingham Borough Council has been very successful in bucking the national trend of declining library usage and has increased the opening times and access to library services across the borough.

"I encourage users of the Maiden Erlegh library to visit either the Lower Earley or Woodley Library which are both only a couple of miles away."

Residents forced to use neighbouring libraries at Lower Earley or Woodley will find the same range of services available as they are used to.

Visit: www.wokingham.gov.uk/libraries for more.