We apologise that the subject line of the newsletter sent yesterday claimed to be the September newsletter – we have also corrected a couple of other typos in sending this version.
Welcome to this month’s newsletter! We begin with some good news:
This month we were thrilled to hear of the success of the grassroots campaign that had managed to stop the relocation of Hendon Library – a move that was not great for Hendon’s many library service users and one which would have seen Hendon’s historic library building
turned into a business centre for Middlesex University.

After changing from Conservative to Labour in May, Barnet Council began a re-think and finally decided that the Hendon Library will remain in its original location and be refurbished, preserving the library’s heritage and traditional features.The council listened to hundreds of residents who expressed how important the building is to the local community and the history of the area.
Chair of the Community Leadership & Libraries Committee, Cllr Sara Conway said:”Hendon Library is a public space cherished by so many people and is an important part of our shared heritage as a Borough. We have listened to hundreds of residents who urged the council not to go ahead with plans to move it from its historic home and are delighted to announce that we will now be retaining Hendon library within the listed building.”TLC followed the story closely, in liaison with the admirable ‘Save Hendon’ campaign.

We sent authoritative evidence to the consultation, gave some advice and spread the word via social media and a big feature in our magazine.‘Save Hendon’ was kind enough to tweet:”Now, an extremely important THANK YOU to the amazing organisation@LibraryCampaign for all the excellent support & advice & for featuring our campaign in their magazine. The Library Campaign do such important work. If you’re interested, you can join here:
Hackney Library under threat
Hackney in East London has seen demonstrations as anger grows over the
council’s plan to cut library posts. Hackney UNISON says:”The result would be a reduced presence with less staff for users to interact with, riskier to effectively prevent or manage health & safety issues, and make temporary closures more likely in the event of staff shortages.”The senior management team had recently received an additional £50k funding.You can add your name to the growing petition in the link below:https://www.megaphone.org.uk/petitions/save-hackney-library-services-stop-the-cutsKeep an eye on our website and twitter for updates about Hackney library and the planned service cuts.
Nine libraries in Wirral have closed as part of £20m cuts. Seven may be re-opened by various community groups, though months of negotiations have made little progress. The irony is that Wirral council also threatened drastic closures back in 2009. It changed its mind the night before it was due to be officially notified that it was breaking the law. This unique story made public library history – and DCMS endorsement!
Read all about it here:
*(Annex D refers to the report of the inquiry in the Wirral case. This
report is essential reading, especially if reorganization of a library service will adversely affect the service in deprived areas.)
Baroness Sanderson sets out on her review of Uk public libraries
Another issue we are keeping an eye on is the future of UK library services in a more general way as the new chair of the advisory panel to the DCMS starts work. Her first report says many of the right things:“As someone from outside the sector, I have a lot to learn and a lot of people to meet but my first priority was to visit frontline library staff and volunteers – to see for myself the work that they do and to understand the challenges they face.”Her first tour included Wimbledon, Woodford, Yeovil, Taunton, Sutton and Deepings volunteer-run library in Lincs.

“Readiness to adapt, while working with the local community to address their specific needs, has been central to every library branch I’ve visited,” she reports, “whatever their size, location or management structure…”

and goes on to say that:

“They should be recognised as one of the most valuable community assets we have… I feel privileged to work with the sector to help develop ideas as to how we may protect them into the future and widen the understanding of what they do – across government departments and more widely through society.”

Hear hear to that! Click here to read over her full report
Library spaces
The Campaign has become aware of an apparent trend to reduce the size of libraries when they are replaced with new builds or refurbished. We have submitted evidence to the planning consultation on the new library in Loughton (Essex) and noted the refurbishment of Harlow library resulted in the entire second floor being used by a non- library Council department. We are also keeping an eye on Redditch and Peacehaven (East Sussex) where new build proposals seem to diminish the library space available.If your library is, or may be, suffering in this way we would like to know so do get in touch.
and finally…
We’d like to mention that we welcome offers of news from local Friends and Campaign groups about what’s happening in your patch. What you send does not need to be headline making (in the newspaper sense) – just what you have been up to or what’s happening in your area. We can’t promise to use everything but we certainly can’t if we don’t know about it! We did get one offer this month but were unable to use it for reasons we will explain to the contributors.
*NB We intend to send these newsletters on the last weekend of each month. This one was delayed by illness to the two people most responsible for putting it together. We hope to be back on track in November : )
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