Showing posts with label cuts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cuts. Show all posts

20 October 2015

Library Visits and Borrowing in Lewisham

Using two different reports to the council it has been possible to see the changes in library usage since the first community libraries were set up in 2011. The figures are detailed below:

Library Type Visitors in Oct 2010 Visitors in Oct 2014 % Change in visitors ...... Borrowing in Oct 2010 Borrowing in Oct 2014 % Change in borrowing
Lewisham Council 31,855 31,756 0% 22,025 17,387 -21%
Deptford Council n/a 39,561 -n/a 10,387 -
Forest Hill Council 12,208 14,266 17%
9,461 8,853 -6%
Downham Council 35,799 30,692 -14% 8,853 7,307 -17%
Catford Council 23,973 18,975 -21% 10,197 6,905 -32%
Manor House Council 17,749 19,533 10% 9,779 5,952 -39%
Torridon Road Council n/a 5,085 -n/a 4,101 -
Crofton Park Community 7,550 8,000 6% 6,036 2,419 -60%
Blackheath Community 7,897 10,548 34% 5,044 1,672 -67%
Sydenham Community 5,382 6,570 22% 4,035 934 -77%
New Cross Community 4,033 6,113 52% 2,770 726 -74%
Grove Park Community 3,743 3,692 -1% 3,764 391 -90%
Libraries ordered by October 2014 borrowing figures.
Full Excel download available with all years.

Three trends emerge over time:
1. Visitor numbers to community libraries have increased faster than other libraries in Lewisham.
2. Book borrowing is on a general downward path.
3. Decline in book borrowing has been far worse in community libraries.

Looking specifically at Forest Hill Library, the decline in borrowing has been least of all Lewisham libraries. Forest Hill has also seen the largest increase in visitors of all council run libraries (not including Deptford and Torridon Road which were not open in 2010).

Community libraries are almost certainly better than no library at all, and volunteers have worked hard to make these smaller libraries work, but based on the experience with existing community libraries over four years, transferring more libraries to Community management is likely to result in massive reductions in borrowing (core library services).

The Forest Hill Society opposes the community model as a method of providing services in Forest Hill Library and believe it will have a negative impact on children and adults in the local area.

We urge you to complete the survey provided by Lewisham council on cutting library services and make your views known.

31 January 2011

Save Our Library - Saturday 5 February

Saturday, 5 February sees a national read-in campaign to save libraries threatened with closure due to government cuts.

Sydenham, Crofton Park, New Cross, Blackheath and Grove Park Libraries will all be taking part between 11:30 and 1pm.

The Crofton Park campaigners are encouraging people to go along and simply choose a book from the shelves and start reading it. At Sydenham Library, the Save Sydenham Library campaign are planning a party atmosphere, with posters, balloons, cakes and drinks. There will be a few speeches and readings by local authors, poets and celebrities including the life peer and philosopher Baroness Mary Warnock, and Guardian columnist Lucy Mangan. Also expected to attend are children’s writers of the Stripy Horse series Karen Wall & Jim Helmore, local author Julie Day and poet Chrissie Gittins whose poem "Longing to be Heard" is in honour of Sydenham Library.

Highlights of the day will be readings from each of the authors, a singing and music session for children, and a party outside the library. The event will culminate in a balloon release. There will also be a performance by Sly and Reggie, the dub group who have penned the song "We Love Libraries".

Seats are extremely limited so if you need to sit down please bring a folding chair with you.

Contribution of cakes and biscuits will be welcomed - simply bring them along to Sydenham Library at 11am on the day.

27 October 2010

Save Sydenham Library

The Mayor of Lewisham is considering closing five of Lewisham's libraries; Blackheath, Crofton Park, Grove Park, New Cross and Sydenham.

Friends of Sydenham Library believe that this is short-sighted and that the social cost of closing the libraries will be greater than the savings.

They know that the Council is facing tough decisions as a result of the Government's funding cuts, but strongly feel that closing the libraries is a knee-jerk decision that is wrong-headed and short-sighted. Many people support the campaign - nearly 20,000 people have signed the petition opposing the closure, which is roughly one tenth of the electorate in Lewisham.

They believe that the social and financial cost of closing the libraries will be far greater than keeping them open and that more and more people will come to rely on the libraries in the difficult times ahead.

Friends of Sydenham Library want to see the libraries remain open with similar or longer opening hours and continue to be run by professional staff; innovative, creative and original use of library buildings and resources should be able to improve the service, adding to their usage and income and involving the communities that depend on them.

They will be marching from Crofton Park Library to Lewisham Town Hall (in Catford) on Saturday, 30th October. The plan is that it will be a light-hearted event with everyone wearing brightly coloured clothes; anyone wishing to dress up as a book character will be most welcome. Bring whistles, drums or anything that will make a noise.

If you can attend, meet at 12:15pm outside Crofton Park Library and be ready to set off at 12:30. The aim is to arrive at Lewisham Town Hall by 1:30pm for a rally and speeches. Crofton Park library is at the junction of Brockley Road and Darfield Road, right next to Crofton Park rail station. The library is also served by bus routes 122, 171, 172 and P4.

If you cannot make the march, but want to register your protest, please write to Sir Steve Bullock, Lewisham Town Hall, Catford. SE6 4RU or by email to