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Friday, 8 March 2013

Brent Features on Public Libraries News Again

Public Libraries News points to Brent's year to date figures.  Up to February compared to the same period last year, we saw a 1% rise in issues and a 1.2% decline in visits.  Such a small change in visits and issues will surprise many people I suspect.  We simultaneously achieved a financial saving of £816k, which would have been somewhat higher if we hadn't chosen to invest in better IT and seven day opening in all our six libraries.

Of course, the challenge in libraries next will be to not just match last year, but exceed it.  The library staff are doing a great job with a myriad of initiatives, but we will have bumps in the road.  The rebuild at Willesden is bound to effect visitor numbers, despite the robust interim arrangements.  More positively, the new Wembley library should attract far more people than the current Town Hall library.  We shall have to see how it goes.


claremounties said...

It may be bumps in the road to you Mr Powney, but to a nine-year-old who has been deprived of a Local Library for the last two years; it is a huge chunk lost in their developmental calendar. Or, to an elderly person who has lost opportunities to socialise and enrich their remaining years. Your 'Transformation Project' has certainly transformed their lives forever!

claremounties said...

In addition:
A public service which is fundamentally obliged to reach the maximum number of constituents without prejudice, has by design, to be accessible to all, and thereby fully inclusive.
The only 'model' which can achieve this, is one which is de-centralized and satellite-based; centralization can never achieve the degree of coverage for which the service is offered to provide.
If the service is not accessible to all; I propose, that apart from failing to fulfil its own remit; it contravenes the Councils 'Equality and Diversity policy'.

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