CHILDREN celebrated the opening of their new and improved library on Friday with the help of a famous author.

Pupils from Garland Junior School in Burghfield were joined by Holly Webb to launch the new reading initiative following the transformation of the library.

The area was successfully redesigned after the children won an IKEA competition 12 months ago, beating dozens of entries from across Thames Valley in the process.

The author of the Maisie Hitchins and Animal Magic series of books was on hand to cut the ribbon along with members of the Calcot store.

Emily Dawkins, head teacher of Garland Junior School, said: “We are very excited about the launch of both the library and Accelerated Reader.

“It was wonderful to see the fruits of the children’s labours and those of the staff in setting up the library. I am sure the children will be reaping the benefits for years to come.

“This is a project that has brought the local community together and focussed on creating a positive learning space.

“We have introduced dedicated reading time for all pupils at the school. Our aim is to provide all of the ingredients possible to foster a love of reading which will stay with the children long into the future.”

The new library will also serve as the hub for the new Accelerated Reader programme, which will allow pupils to take an online quiz after each book they have read.

Year 4 pupils designed furniture to make the space more innovative and collected ideas for colours and holding regular planning meetings with experts from IKEA.

Children at Garland Junior captured the imagination of the judging panel from IKEA by taking ownership of how the new space will look.

Cordelia, 10, one of the children responsible for designing the new library, explained: “It makes me feel very proud to have helped achieve something for my school.

“Looking at the finished room, it is very calming and peaceful. I think it will make people want to spend time in here reading.”

A special assembly, hosted by the visiting author, was held to celebrate the opening.