Pupils have started a collaboration project with Alexandra Park library which has been reopened after an extensive makeover.

Every class in Year 7 and Year 8 at the nearby Alexandra Park School has now visited the library since its reopening four months ago and pupils have been encouraged to sign up and start borrowing their favourite books.

“We take literacy extremely seriously,” headteacher Michael McKenzie said.

“We realised that many pupils have missed out since lockdown and the library refurbishment on the chance to join Haringey Libraries and all the opportunities they offer young people.

“So this has been remedied with the help of the library’s staff, to give pupils the best life chances.”

The visits form part of the youngsters’ ongoing “Reading Olympics” challenge in class.

The school has its own “well stocked” library but public libraries are “a great addition”, school librarian Laura Davenport accepts.

Youngsters can borrow up to 15 books at a time from Haringey’s nine libraries and from any public library across Greater London, she points out. They can also make use of the quiet study areas, which encourages their independent learning — and “best of all it’s absolutely free”.

The library in Alexandra Park Road has a range of books from non-fiction to graphic and traditional novels, as well as its new high-speed internet access.

Books went back on the shelves when the library reopened in February after weeks of being shut for a £500,000 makeover.

The listed building has kept its traditional wooden bookcases, but the rest of the furniture and carpets have been replaced and its IT upgraded with faster internet connection breaking the virtual “speed barrier”.

The work is part of Haringey Council’s £5million programme to upgrade all nine public libraries.

The Alexandra Park venue has been made more accessible with a new lift as well as adding a new children’s library.

Improved lighting makes easy reading for avid bookworms. An electric piano has also been installed in a council deal with Casio to have one put in every public library over the next four years.