The rise in the number of visits to Tate South Lambeth Library continues at the top of the league of Lambeth libraries – further confirmation of the immense popularity of our local library.
In the 12 months April 2015- March 2016 visits to the library were up by a spectacular 65% (ie two thirds) on the year earlier period. The number was just over 160,000 – or an average of over 13,000 a month. This puts our library in fourth place amongst Lambeth’s ten libraries, behind the “big three” town centre libraries (Brixton, Clapham and Streatham). These libraries are much better resourced than TSL and are open for many more hours each week (56 against TSL’s 39). If you look at visits per hour – a fairer measure – TSL is biting at Streatham’s heels. In March the TSL figure was 82 visits per hour; Streatham’s was 86.
And Lambeth was planning to close this top performer?
TSL’s results stand out, but the library service in Lambeth as a whole has reason to congratulate itself. Yet again – for the third year in succession – it has bucked the national trend of decline, with visits to libraries up by 7% year on year and book borrowings up by 5% (TSL’s borrowing figures rose by a slightly stronger 8%). This after a period of swingeing cuts in spending on our libraries. So the head of the service, Susanna Barnes, and library managers (especially TSL’s Maria Kwofie) are getting it right. Respect and gratitude are owed to them.