Lewisham's Future Library Programme

The DCMS (day job client) has today announced that Lewisham is among the group of local authorities taking part in the government's "Future Library Programme". The statement says:

The programme promises to build momentum on the ideas that have been generated and spread learning between library authorities to achieve cost savings, new partnerships and governance models, and to take advantage of digital opportunities. Central to the programme is the vision for library services to have greater connection with other local services and an ambition for services to be designed around the needs of the public, rather than based on organisational boundaries.

The Museums Libraries and Archive Council (MLA) and the LGA Group (Local Government Association Group) will begin work immediately with packages of support and advice for each of the projects. As work gets underway with the initial ten projects, planning for the second phase of the Programme will press ahead to ensure the successes and experiences of each project can be collected and shared with library authorities across England so that the results of the programme can benefit people throughout the country.

Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, Ed Vaizey said:

“A strong library service, based around the needs of local people, can play a key role in our ambitions to build the Big Society by providing safe and inclusive spaces for people to read, learn and access a range of community services...

Closer Working in South East London (Bexley, Bromley, Croydon, Greenwich, Lambeth, Lewisham, Southwark)

The Future Libraries Programme is an exciting opportunity to deliver a step change across library services in South East London. Through it, Bexley, Bromley, Croydon, Greenwich, Lambeth, Lewisham, and Southwark, will look at options and opportunities for improving quality and reducing costs by working more closely together.

These library authorities - members of the South East Libraries Performance Improvement Group (SELPIG) - will build on individual strengths and distinctive features, to retain and improve best practice models and introduce new solutions.

We're not entirely sure at this stage what any of this actually means, although it sounds as though Lewisham's libraries could be sustained by broadening the range of community services provided - an approach we've been arguing for since the consultation on their future was first announced. It could be good news for people campaiging to save our libraries from closure since those leading the pilot are unlikely to want a 'Future Library Programme' to result in a future without libraries.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

so will they reverse the closure plan???

lb said...

"will look at options and opportunities for improving quality and reducing costs by working more closely together"

It sounds very much like a rationalisation programme to me, as does much of this 'Big Society' henk.

Anonymous said...

Maybe BC should delete my comment as it has nothing to do with this but here goes...

There were a couple of young teenagers (white and males) taking photographs of houses in our street over the weekend.
I have called Goldsmiths to see if it were an art/conservation project - answer: no, probably not as everyone is on holiday.
I wonder if anyone else has seen these boys or knows what they are up to?
They were very open about it which leads me to think it's a project of some description....

Can anyone shed any light on it? I wish I had challenged them at the time but I cldn't find my keys!

Monkeyboy said...

Presumably you're concerned that it's something to do with theft? Why would a photograph o the outside of a house be helpful? Sneaking into a garden and chancing upon a poorly secured window is gow it tends to work.

Sure it wasn't for the local history thing that nick posted about?

lb said...

Perhaps they were estate agents in the larval stage?

Anonymous said...

It could be for burglary.
How old were they? Did they look smart or look like they could do with a few bob?

Brockley Nick said...

@Anon - to be accurate, there isn't / wasn't a 'closure plan' they are consulting on their future, with closure one option.

This announcement suggests there will be some rationalisation (as LB says), but hopefully that rationalisation will involve using library space to deliver other types of Council services, rather than outright closure. ie: "we can't justify the cost based on book-lending alone, so what else can we do with them?"

That seems sensible to me...

Anonymous said...

Let's think about this. They will go home and poornober pictures of house fronts in order to choose one to break into? Possibly but about as likely as a tourist taking a picture of the gurkin because actually he's a terrorist. I suspect paranoia

Anonymous said...

as somewhat of an insider in libraryland (though not the local library services) I would guess that there is substantial duplication of effort and infrastructure among these distinct library systems. Its typically a painful (and expensive) transition but just rationalizing the technology infrastructure for their inventory and patron management, would generate quite a lot of savings. tends to pay for itself within a couple of years.

Anonymous said...

Um a partnership with a QUango that is being abolished?

MLA is abolished according to this
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/one-by-one-the-quangos-are-abolished-but-at-what-cost-2036175.html

darryl said...

In the case of Blackheath Village Library, I wonder if this means Lewisham Council will turn around and say "we can close it now we're working with Greenwich Council, now trot over the heath and use their Blackheath Library".

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skye_marie said...

looking forward for this.



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