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Forest Hill Library - Proposed Cut to Funding
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Townleygreen


Posts: 12
Joined: Jul 2012
Post: #21
06-10-2015 11:51 AM

If you are worried about the future of Forest Hill library, then I suggest Sydenham Library's record since it was taken over by volunteers is pretty good.
They have had to replace the roof, redecorate and have invested in a successful café, offer English teaching and IT training - free!

So you may have nothing much to worry about.

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michael


Posts: 3,216
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #22
06-10-2015 12:05 PM

There have been lots of good things happen at Sydenham library, unfortunately book lending is not one of them.
Lending of books in 2014 was under 25% of the numbers in 2010. It may be successful, but not as a library.
Forest Hill library already offers IT training and I think an extra cafe is less necessary in Forest Hill.

In the words of one volunteer at Sydenham library: "Sydenham works because of the quality of our volunteers and their dedication. It could just as easily be a total disaster."

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Townleygreen


Posts: 12
Joined: Jul 2012
Post: #23
06-10-2015 02:23 PM

Michael,

you are wrong! the library has had a huge number of borrowings for the summer reading scheme. Way more than Forest Hill for instance. I would like to see your figures please!

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Townleygreen


Posts: 12
Joined: Jul 2012
Post: #24
06-10-2015 03:21 PM

Also, Eco computers (who run Sydenham) have had to spend thousands on it to get it up to speed. Why didn't Lewisham do that? It had been neglected by them for years.
Surely they deserve credit for that?

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michael


Posts: 3,216
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #25
06-10-2015 04:00 PM

Quote:
Michael,

you are wrong! the library has had a huge number of borrowings for the summer reading scheme. Way more than Forest Hill for instance. I would like to see your figures please!

The figures I am using were provide by the council as part of the consultation document. They relate to October 2014 rather than this summer as figures are not available after March 2015.
During 2013-2014 issues from Sydenham ranged from 89 per month to 1,762 per month. The figures shown for Forest Hill show a range from 7,869 to 10,995 per month.

Figures for previous years were taken from http://www.publiclibrariesnews.com/2011/...apses.html

I would welcome any more updated figures for libraries across Lewisham if you can provide them.

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rbmartin


Posts: 796
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #26
07-10-2015 02:31 AM

While I'm sure the company that operates Sydenham library has done a great job with the use of volunteers, lets remember that space will be sacrificed for the commercial enterprise that moves into the building.

Also, why have neighbouring Southwark, also a Labour council managed to keep their libraries open, despite massive cuts?

Dulwich Library, a short distance from FH doesn't have the issues that Lewisham Libraries have.

I've also volunteered for another London borough's libraries. It takes a lot of time and commitment to do the job.

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P1971


Posts: 816
Joined: Feb 2009
Post: #27
07-10-2015 04:38 PM

There's now a blog with a link to an online petition if anyone wants to sign it.

savelewishamlibraries.blogspot.co.uk

   

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michael


Posts: 3,216
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #28
08-10-2015 02:54 PM

I found out that there will be an opportunity to hear about the planned changes at Forest Hill Library at the Forest Hill Ward assembly on Saturday 17th October, 2:30pm at the swimming pool.

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P1971


Posts: 816
Joined: Feb 2009
Post: #29
10-10-2015 09:26 PM

You can sign the petition here.
Every signature counts!

https://www.change.org/p/lewisham-counci...-libraries

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carole


Posts: 41
Joined: May 2009
Post: #30
12-10-2015 02:59 PM

I clicked on the petition link. It's in German. Why is this?

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P1971


Posts: 816
Joined: Feb 2009
Post: #31
12-10-2015 05:01 PM

Hi Carole

I'm not sure, I just clicked on it and it was in English. Maybe going to the blog then clicking on the link from there might work for you.

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shaman


Posts: 71
Joined: Nov 2009
Post: #32
12-10-2015 11:49 PM

Never been to Sydenham Library. I was aware it had been taken over, but whenever I passed it always seemed to be closed. I see from the council website that is is closed all day Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

Wednesday and Friday happen to be two of the three days I look after my 2 year old, so it's Monday or nothing during the week.

For working people, it's effectively only open once a week.

Meanwhile, Forest Hill is open 7 days a week.

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Townleygreen


Posts: 12
Joined: Jul 2012
Post: #33
13-10-2015 09:58 AM

Shaman, it is open 9.30-7pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays which should be useful for those who work office hours.

The charity that runs it keeps the same hours that Lewisham kept for it. There has been no reduction.
I presume it would be the same for Forest Hill.

Whilst I do not welcome the idea that Lewisham will be turning over more libraries to the "Community" and thereby making people redundant, it would be nice if forum members were nicer about Sydenham library since several of us volunteers have been trying our best to provide a service to the people for the last 4+ years!

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michael


Posts: 3,216
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #34
13-10-2015 11:06 AM

Townleygreen,
You are right, volunteers have done an excellent job in Sydenham library and as a result of this, and the cafe opening inside, visitor numbers to Sydenham library have increased by 22% (Oct 2010-Oct 2014). Which is a credit to all involved.

To put this into context Forest Hill library has only had a 17% increase in visitor numbers over the same period, although it has maintained twice as many visitors as Sydenham library, and about 8 to 10 times as many book borrowings.

But to keep Forest Hill open for the 66 hours in is current open would take twice the number of volunteers as Sydenham, including volunteers staying around until 8pm and during the day on Saturday and Sunday. To staff the library with volunteers to that level would take a lot of commitment from the local community.

If Forest Hill becomes a community library it is likely that services will deteriorate due to the loss of professional library staff, opening hours would be under threat, and borrowing would plummet - as we have seen in all community libraries in Lewisham.

I look forward to hearing why this would be good news for Forest Hill at the ward assembly on Saturday.

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rbmartin


Posts: 796
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #35
13-10-2015 11:15 AM

I don't know how what volunteers are expected to do at Sydenham, but when I volunteer elsewhere, I'm given a set time of hours each week to do as a paid employee would on the roster, but without the expectation of attending each week as a paid employee can cover my work.

This could mean at FH, if they haven't got enough volunteers to keep the library open, then it could close unexpectedly.

I can't realistically see how such a central library such as Forest Hill can maintain the same level of service as a community based library where as Sydenham with it's reduced hours can.

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Townleygreen


Posts: 12
Joined: Jul 2012
Post: #36
13-10-2015 11:28 AM

I agree it would be a huge job to run FH library with volunteers. Managing the volunteers and getting enough of them on a regular basis might be a big problem.
Especially with 7 day opening and long hours.
Lewisham, keep managing this library!

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Enapinge1


Posts: 5
Joined: Oct 2015
Post: #37
13-10-2015 01:21 PM

I have used libraries since I was a child. We didn't have books at home and I believe the access to books allowed me to develop my imagination,vocabulary and an interest in the world.
I am an avid reader and am now 63. I use the Forest Hill library every week. I cannot afford to buy the number of books I borrow from the library.
recent research from Waterstones has shown the sale of Kindles has dropped away,so we still need books.
Lewisham is in an impossible position with the cuts it is forced to make by this government.
What about the staff. More redundancies?

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Townleygreen


Posts: 12
Joined: Jul 2012
Post: #38
13-10-2015 01:38 PM

well according to Lewisham's proposals they intend to make most of the savings from staff cuts - £800,000 out of £1 million.
Very depressing.

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shaman


Posts: 71
Joined: Nov 2009
Post: #39
13-10-2015 03:06 PM

The council are going to spend that £1 million on 20mph street signs.

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P1971


Posts: 816
Joined: Feb 2009
Post: #40
13-10-2015 03:16 PM
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