When Swindon librarian Roger Trayhurn retired in April, colleagues described him as an iconic local figure and a library legend.
Roger began work in 1964 when Swindon’s Central Library was housed in prefabricated buildings. However, he was assured, the accommodation was only temporary. It would be more than forty years before the library moved into the modern, light and airy building on its old Regent Circus site, but regular users would agree it was well worth the long wait.
Designed in house by council architects Nic Newland and Tony Currivan the £10 million New Central Library opened on October 20, 2008 on time and within budget.
The staff at Central Library provide a wealth of services from Story and Rhyme Sessions for the youngest users in the colourful children’s section to talks and film shows in the plush reading room on the second floor.
For the family and local historian there is a wealth of information available in the Swindon Collection with a dedicated team of enquiry officers to help and advise.
And online a photographic archive launched in July 2009 currently contains more than 5.000 images and has just notched up a million hits. The archive continues to grow as members of the local studies team spread the word and library users contribute their own photographs to be scanned and uploaded onto the site.
Roger doesn’t intend on taking retirement too easy and says he has a long list of things to do that he never had time to tackle before. As someone who has appeared in the acknowledgements of so many local publications, Roger intends writing his own book about the history of Swindon’s Empire Theatre.