Lewisham launches new consultation on the future of our libraries

Lewisham Council has launched a consultation about further changes to the borough's library services, as part of its bid to deliver cost savings. The library service has been asked to deliver £1m of savings over the next two financial years.

In short, the Council proposes three options:

A) to sub-contract library services to a private provider
B) to reduce opening hours
C) to convert more libraries to the community-led model, which is in place at libraries like Crofton Park. The libraries in Deptford, Lewisham and Downham would be preserved as Council-led "hub" libraries, while Forest Hill, Torridon Road and Manor House libraries would become community libraries.

In BC's view, reducing opening hours is totally unacceptable if libraries are to remain a useful study resource. The groups that have kept Lewisham's "community libraries" open deserve great credit for their hard work and ingenuity, but these libraries are ersatz in comparison to the Council-led ones, getting by on meagre resources. This would be a poor option.

The consultation notes that Lewisham Council does not favour option A) because it is unlikely to deliver the scale of savings that the others promise, but for library users it is the least worst option and might deliver some service improvements.

To take part in the consultation, click here. Thank you to Sara for the link.

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