The council has been engaged in a project to relocate its Central Library from its current location at Abbey Square to the civic offices in Bridge Street.
The project would involve constructing a two-storey extension at the front of the building to provide space for the library.
The new library would have fewer books than the current site at Abbey Square, according to Camille James, a capital project manager for the council.
Books that will not be on display at the new library will either be put in storage for order or relocated to the council’s other libraries in Whitley, Southcote, Caversham and other borough neighbourhoods.
Construction would require the relocation of the registrar’s office for birth, marriage and death records to be moved to the rear of the building.
The outdoors of the council offices would also be changed as well, with the extension requiring the relocation of the council’s flagpoles and a popular coffee van to an area facing Fobney Street.
The project would also see the removal of a young oak tree planted in March last year to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. The tree has died since then.
This tree will be replaced and the commemorative plaque retained and relocated.
Councillor Rachel Eden (Labour, Whitley) called for the dead tree to be replaced with a tree of suitably high quality at a meeting of the council’s Older Persons Working Group.
The area surrounding the dead tree was overgrown with the plaque obscured by bushes.
The council’s plans and details of changes were revealed in a public consultation, the results of which were published in September.
Cllr Jason Brock (Labour, Southcote), the council leader, said: “Bringing the library to the Civic Offices will create a fantastic, bright, modern new space for people and will encourage more people to use the many valuable services provided by the library and at our Civic Offices.
“Officers are now in the process of working through consultation responses and suggestions which will shape how we move forward into the planning stages.”
If the council’s planning applications committee approves the library project at a future meeting, the project team intends for work to start in March next year, with hopes for construction to be complete in Spring 2025.
You can view the application for the new library by typing reference 231495 into the council’s planning portal.