Upper Norwood Library Trust and Lambeth Council are pleased to be able to provide an update on the negotiations around Upper Norwood Library.
From 1 July this year, Upper Norwood Joint Library (UNJL) building will be run by the Upper Norwood Library Trust – members of the local community who have a real passion and commitment to the library.
The Trust and Lambeth Council have been talking for years about how best to transfer the library to the community and, while it has at times been a frustrating process, the vision for the future now looks bright.
Lambeth Council and the Upper Norwood Library Trust are confident that the new arrangement will provide a great service hosted by, and run for, the local community in Upper Norwood – and at a more sustainable cost to the council, which is facing severe budget pressures.
The Trust will be working to develop a range of cultural and educational activities in the building, which aim to engage the whole community, an endeavour which is being joint funded by both Lambeth and Croydon councils to the tune of £85,000 each.
The library service will still be managed by Lambeth with Lambeth’s library staff providing 35 hours of library staff cover per week for two years, with a review after a year. This is what the Trust has requested to be able to complete their business model and will assist the Trust whilst they establish the new service.
It is proposed that the library will have a very similar book stock as now, operate in much of the same space and host regular community activities such as the popular Waggle and Hum – as it always has.
Money has also been set aside by Lambeth and Croydon to improve the condition of the building – we will provide more news on those improvements within the next month.
The library will continue to run as normal until the transfer on 1 July.
Laura Wright, Chair of Upper Norwood Library Trust said “We’re absolutely delighted to have secured a level of professional library staffing within the building over the next two years and thank Lambeth for their desire to support our vision of a thriving community hub with a brilliant library at its heart. We know that both authorities are battling with austerity measures and so we are delighted with this outcome. We will continue to work on behalf of the local community to create a vibrant place for the community to enjoy, with not only a staffed library but new cultural and educational activities”.