Amidst the gloom & doom about Lambeth's mad actions (spending £1.25 million digging out the basement for a gym, awarding the library to a group that has no community basis, etc) we've received the good news that the Carnegie UK Trust project (run in 2016-17 by the Friends together with Lambeth library services) to provide IT courses in Lambeth libraries will be continued for another year with Widening Participation funding. This will provide funds for 4 courses for local disadvantaged young people. At least one, we hope, will be in the Carnegie.
From 4 June 2015, the library will be open on Thursday afternoons from 1.00 – 6.00pm in addition to its normal opening hours. This will allow for greater use, and in particular, give students revising for exams an additional facility for homework, research, computer use and free Wi-Fi.
This is welcome news because for years, Friends of Carnegie Library have been calling for longer opening times following the reduction from 34 to 16 hours a week from 1997 and the partial restoration to 31 from 2003.
With all the events and activities now on offer, and the friendly, welcoming library staff, statistics for membership, visits and loans have been growing by leaps and bounds. Add the recent refurbishment and attractive new furniture, plus a growing demand for yet more activities and it was clear an increase in opening hours was needed.
This extension of our public library hours to 36 a week comes at no extra cost to Lambeth, as it is covered by normal staff salaries. The extra five hours should boost the service and encourage even more visits.
Despite this good news, the entire service at the Carnegie is under threat. The results of the Culture 2020 consultation responses and Lambeth’s reaction are expected to be published within the next two months.
If the council decided to press ahead with its proposals to close two libraries and withdraw all funding from three others, including Carnegie, we would lose our professional library staff. It would then be impossible to provide anything like the current level of service, either in terms of opening hours, number and range of books, other material, events and activities; and the library as we know it would close.
To help prevent this, please lobby your councillors and if not already a member, join the Friends and the library.
In our August 2013 Newsletter I reported statistics of library usage showing the numbers of visitors and issues in each location gave a picture at Carnegie of continued improvement. For example, there were 200 more visits in October 2012 than October 2011, and 580 more in April 2013 than April 2012.
There were also more issues and a marked increase in Continue reading Carnegie’s usage keeps going up…