Monday, October 29, 2007

Pollards Hill library Big Lottery grant bid successful

I heard late on today that the Merton Council bid to the Big Lottery under the Community Libraries stream has been successful.

The library will receive nearly a £1 million over 3 years to (a) redevelop the library, (b) create a learning space aimed at family learning, (c) develop learning activities in conjunction with partners, and (d) undertake a programme whereby the community actively participates in managing these services.

This is a very exciting initiative and I'm delighted that we'll get this funding, Pollards Hill library is one of the most successful libraries in the borough for engaging with the local community and this funding will allow the facilities to be improved further over the next few years.

Very good news indeed!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shoul use some of the money to employ a security guard. As it is very few older people venture into the library after school's out.

5:44 am  
Anonymous Amanda Field said...

I thought you might all like to hear about a major article which I read last week (October 25) in the Los Angeles Times about how their libraries are facing increasing disruption from thugs, vandals and other troublemakers. The article was triggered by a serious attack on a man in the Mark Twain library by 6 other men, who punched and stomped him to the floor. Apparently neighbourhood toughs are competing for 'control' of the library as a 'gang space'. Mobs of youths have been frequently intimidating and harrassing patrons of the library and have been driving away readers. This news story led to the LA Times doing a round-up of other local library experiences, where librarians are demanding an increase in the number of security guards. The rise in trouble is attributed to the fact that libraries have become places where people gather to use computers and this is bringing in 'a whole other faction of society'. Library visitor numbers have soared since free internet was installed, but it's getting increasingly difficult to recruit people to work in the libraries because of the problems. One local library customer, father of a young girl, said that more control is needed over the computers so that it's not just 'a MySpace festival' and that he does not allow his daughter to roam freely among the bookstacks at certain libraries because of the risks.

I know it's easy to say that 'well, that's America for you!' and I know that the Mark Twain library is not in a salubrious part of Los Angeles.... but nevertheless I think library services in the UK should heed the warnings. We are, after all, going down the same route, particularly with the Discovery Centre concept, in attempting to attract non-readers to the library (which would be OK if the library then had a proper plan to convert them into readers, but it does not).

9:49 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

According to the Lancashire Evening Post (26.10.2007) the Local Authority in Preston has recommended the closure of Savick Library on Friday evenings, because local people are too afraid to visit it after groups of youths made it "too intimidating for large numbers of residents to visit."

7:03 am  

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