England's strongest man to help set up new reading room at Sheffield Central Library

England's strongest man Paul Smith, from Sheffield.
England's strongest man Paul Smith, from Sheffield.
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Sheffield Council has called on England's strongest man to help create a new reading room at the Central Library.

Sheffield's own Paul Smith will lend a hand moving furniture, including the original city librarian's desk that dates back to the 1930s, from storage into the new room tomorrow.

The council is creating the space in the old reference library, and will combine comfy chairs with classic furniture and rarely seen collections.

The room will also host clubs and activities based on the collections.

April's theme is 'discovering nature', and visitors will be able to make their own woodland centrepiece, attend talks and spend an evening playing botanical board games.

The council says it wants to 'buck the trend' of declining use in reference libraries by creating a more 'welcoming and social' space.

Sheffield Central Library.

Sheffield Central Library.

Cabinet member for libraries Jack Scott said: “Our libraries in Sheffield host a huge variety of activities and it’s great the team have recruited England’s strongest man to help create our new reading room.

"I know this is going to be a great addition to Sheffield.

“We want to make library space even more welcoming and appeal to more people, whilst still retaining full access to our reference material.

"The collections are there to be seen so we’re making them more prominent to inspire more people.

“There’s a huge amount going on in all libraries across Sheffield. I hope people pop in and see what’s on offer.”

The council's Chinese investment partner Sichuan Guodong has been given 12 months to look at the possibility of turning the Central Library into a five star hotel.

The authority says a new central library service would be provided if the hotel plans went ahead.

The April activities in the new reading room are part of Sheffield’s Multi-Story Festival which takes place in April. Visit www.sheffieldnewsroom.co.uk for more information.

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