NO BOOKS GOING FROM LIBRARY – BUT LESS PAID STAFF, MEETING TOLD
NO BOOKS will be removed from Upper Norwood joint library – but there will be less paid staff when the library is taken over by a trust in April.
Norwood Society local history heard details of the impending changes at their Christmas social from trust member Bryher Scudamore.
Full-time staff would be supported by peripatetic staff from Lambeth (based in the library for short periods) she told the social in Upper Norwood library, Westow Hill.
“There’s been an awful lot of rumours going round” she said.
“There was a rumour books would be removed. “The trust don’t want any books to be removed from here – we want to get new books.”
Responding to questions, Bryher said the whole of the top floor will be used to generate revenue – emphasising again that no books would be lost. They wanted to keep the library open for much longer hours.
“We can’t have noisy rave parties – but we can have all sorts of events in the evening.”
A tea room was included in the business plan
“It’s obviously going to be a challenge” she admitted. They were looking for an extra £60,000 – £70,000 from the community. Some people had already offered to donate £100 per year. *
Bryher said she had come to Upper Norwood 60 years ago, learning to read from books when the children’s library was upstairs. “We used to come in the side door because we weren’t allowed through the main door.”
“I was a Saturday girl, stocking shelves, stamping books” Bryher told the meeting.
When she heard some years ago there was a threat to the library Bryher joined the ‘Save the Library’ campaign.
“Three years ago we set up a charity to take over the running of the library. “Since then we’ve been negotiating with Croydon and Lambeth.
“It’s been like a roller coaster. “Parties change, the rules change, and we have to go back to renegotiation.
“We now believe we’re getting close to the finishing line and will be taking over the running of the library in April. “We’ve just been promised a further £25,000 by Lambeth. “We have also had promises of capital support to make sure the building is kept in good condition.
“We are going to make the library into a community learning hub.
“We are not running a voluntary library. “We will have paid staff, make sure the service for people coming in is the best quality it possibly can be.
“They will also be responsible for generating revenue from events such as meetings and digital classes.”
News From Crystal Palace understands that the trust wants to put all the library’s bookshelves on wheels so they can be moved for different events in the building.
*Anyone wishing to donate to the library may do so via the trust’s BT My Donate site.