Library closing

I was really saddened to be told that the council is reducing library opening hours and closing them earlier at Brandon, East Street, Nunhead and Grove Vale libraries.

Libraries are a key resource not just for borrowing books, CD’s, etc but also for those needing to study or search for work using all the local and national newspapers and computer resources.

For local Grove Vale library the hours will reduce from 33 hours a week to 27. The headline is this is part of a £398,000 yearly saving. But they could achieve the cuts without reducing library hours.

Instead of employing three people to cover each Libraries opening, two could be employed and a very part time person to cover lunch breaks. Or even better would be to devolve the library spending to each Library manager and let them decide how to make the savings while maximising services. This would make middle management savings. This would also enable the closure of the libraries hidden secret 13th non public library on Wilson’s Road which houses 25,000 books and a central book buying function and distribution system.

The libraries budget is also not helped by the libraries team still having the old ex.Peckham library and adjoining office in the ground floor of a block of council housing to maintain.

Other savings could be made by not having a separate lift maintenance contract for Peckham Library, Canada Water library and Dulwich Library but piggy backing on the Council Housing massive lift contract – around £50,000 saving.

I’m sure with a deeper dive significant other savings could be made. I’ve made lots of these suggestions to the councillor in charge. Hopefully they will adopted at least a few of these and keep our libraries open.

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