Aug 102016
 

The library forum reports no progress so far on renovation and repair… face-25508_640

The public library forum held on July 30th 2016 reported no forward movement on the renovation of the library or the repair of the non-functioning public lavatory. However the head of library services, Susanna Barnes, was able to assure the meeting that some progress should be realised during the next few months.

Tate South Lambeth Library will be the beneficiary (with Durning Library) of furniture from the now closed down Waterloo Library. And the allocation to the library service of some £200,000 in Section 106 funds should allow the installation of new signage (originally approved almost two years ago) at TSL and other libraries.

But no major spend is scheduled for TSL – in contrast to the £800,000 that is due to be invested in Durning, our partner as “interim joint town centre” library for the north of the borough.

As for the defunct public lavatory, although Thames Water and Lambeth Council have agreed on work to tackle the underlying problem – defective drains – they have still not scheduled action. The library manager, Maria Kwofie, will continue to pester them.

…but our library’s performance continues to be brilliant emoticon-1392276__340

The meeting was much more encouraged by Ms. Barnes’ report on our library’s performance in the first two months of the current financial year (April and May 2016).

Visits at TSL, at 33,000, were up by 65% – two thirds – on the level in the same months of 2015. The increase in numbers is all the more spectacular since it comes on top of high numbers in April-May 2015, when the year-on-year rise was just over one third. TSL thus remains in fourth position among all Lambeth libraries – just behind the much larger, better resourced, and longer-hours town centre libraries at Brixton, Clapham and Streatham.

Meanwhile the growth in borrowing has risen, to around one quarter (year year) in April –May 2016, up from 8% in the 12-month period April 2015-March 2016. With the closure of Carnegie Library at the end of March this year, TSL has moved up to fourth place among borrowings in the Lambeth library service.

While the spectacular growth at TSL may owe something to “refugees” from Minet library, also closed down at end March, the fact remains that TSL is the star performer among all Lambeth libraries.

Another positive bit of news was the take-up of the Summer Reading Challenge at TSL. As of the end of July 300 children had signed up to this programme which maintains and develops their reading skills during the summer holiday break. Maria Kwofie is confident that she can push up this number further.

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