Search This Blog

Friday, 31 July 2015

Martin Francis on the Former Preston Library

Martin Francis reports that the former Preston Library is going to be used for school places again.  This means that the group using it under temporary license will have to move out.  What I find odd about this is that the many problems of the Council just handing the building over to a group have been in the public domain for some time.  In particular, the notion of a peppercorn rent seems wholly unrealistic.

As an addendum, I see that the group gives a precise figure for usage in June, 663.  Measuring performance at volunteer libraries seems essential to me, and I regret that it is not done more often.  In public libraries, June tends to be an unusually good month, but if we assume that for the Preston establishment it is average that would give an annualised footfall of 7,956.  That might seem like a lot, but it demonstrates that a public library service such as Brent Libraries is operating on a totally different scale to the volunteer libraries that are sometimes suggested as their replacement. 

In 2014/15, the Brent library with the lowest footfall was Kingsbury, which had a footfall of 146,870, or 12,239 in an average month.  Brent's other libraries averaged much higher levels.  When people such as Ed Vaizey advocate volunteer libraries they really are suggesting replacing the public library service with something fundamentally different.

No comments:

Post a Comment