Crofton Park Library - And that's the end of that chapter

Anyway -- because we are readers, we don't have to wait for some communications executive to decide what we should think about next -- and how we should think about it. We can fill our heads with anything from aardvarks to zucchinis -- at any time of night or day. 
- Kurt Vonnegut

The Guardian covers library closures today and mentions Crofton Park as a possible model for other communities whose libraries are threatened with closure. It says:

Disheartened observers... could find fresh encouragement by turning their attention to Lewisham, where the council has withdrawn funding from five of its 12 libraries. But all are still running. Earlier this year, the management of three of these libraries was handed to Eco Computer Systems (ECS), a local social enterprise that recycles computers. The libraries were rechristened "community hubs".

Founder Darren Taylor describes them as the natural expansion to his business, which donates 30% of the computers it recycles to needy individuals and community groups and ploughs its profits into IT training and other social projects.

The three libraries, for which Taylor's organisation has been given leases of up to 25 years, are combining traditional book borrowing with a patchwork of income-generating activities including IT and employment training, cafes, secondhand book sales and the rental of community meeting space. They are overseen by community hub managers employed by his organisation, helped by a pool of 120 volunteers. In the first weeks of the transfer to ECS, library staff showed the new managers the ropes but none of the council's librarians work there now. Fifteen staff have lost their jobs as a result of the council's withdrawal of funding from the five libraries.

So this is a good time to ask the question - how successful do you think the transition from Council to social enterprise has been? Have you used Crofton Park Library since the handover - and how does it compare?

With thanks to Mike.