The Future of Cultural Services in Lambeth

The council is launching a consultation on the future of cultural services in Lambeth. This sets out a vision for how we can deliver library services sustainably, in the face of huge cuts to our funding from the national government.

In
2012 we talked to residents about libraries. They challenged us on how we could provide free access to
books wider than ever before. They challenged us to use self serve
technology, volunteers and community spaces to create new places in the
heart of our neighbourhoods to borrow books and embrace reading.

Lambeth Council is now launching a consultation which shares our
vision for how we might deliver this. Please get involved, feedback your ideas and tell us what you think.

Our vision is –

  • 5 town centre libraries where we’ll work with volunteers to extend opening hours
  • those town centre libraries supporting a wider Network of community
    lending libraries in community settings – like the successful one in
    Streatham Vale.
  • community libraries like Carnegie potentially becoming community hubs – including community library provision.

This vision isn’t new – it’s the continuation of a conversation we’ve
been having for a long time. But the pace needs to pick up to achieve the budget
reductions that are now necessary.

We’ll have to make some tough decisions too. Some smaller libraries
simply won’t be able to continue. In West Norwood, we are lucky – the council and Picturehouse have exchanged contracts to develop Nettlefold Hall into a refurbished library and a new cinema for our community. There are going to be lots of opportunities to have your say on what our library will look like – watch this space!

For further information, take a look at Lambeth Labour’s blog here

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