Libraries Commission Final Report
Libraries in Lambeth help people to realise their potential. They enablediscovery and open doors to information, learning, books and technology.They are a vital and much loved part of the community and it’s been that wayfor over a century. But today, our libraries face two very difficult challenges.Firstly, the need to ensure that our library service is fit for the 21
century andmeets the aspirations of our communities both now and in the future.Secondly, as a result of cuts in Government funding, costs £750,000 less torun by 2014.The Libraries Commission has faced both of these challenges head on anddiscussions have been frank, challenging and engaging. We have heard ideasand suggestions for change from experts, staff, other councils, residents andcommunities. They’ve told us how and where we can improve and where wemight save money. We’ve had a wealth of information and submissions andthey have provided a solid platform to create clear recommendations that willmeet the robust challenge and discussions that will take place following thepublication of this report.In the following pages are ideas on how to improve the library service, how touse our resources, how to find more investment and how to embracecooperative values. None of this would have been possible without thecommitment of my fellow commissioners whose energy, insight and passionfor improving our libraries have made our many discussions enjoyable andproductive. I would like to thank all of the Commissioners for their support,contributions and unwavering commitment to the Commission and the futureof the library service in Lambeth.Similarly, there is a similar drive and commitment within our communities tohelp to improve our library services. As a Commission we want to givecitizens the opportunity to design and deliver the libraries service in their area.One size does not fit every community and it is important that we enablecommunities to be distinctive, with a high quality library service as anessential ingredient. We have already started on this journey with a state of the art new library in Clapham which is due to open early next year.On behalf of all the Commissioners I would also like to thank all the peoplewho contributed evidence to the report and to the officers who spent a greatdeal of time digesting it and supporting the Commission. As a Commission,we have tried to set out what we think is a way forward to ensure thatLambeth has a library service with communities at its heart that is fit for thefuture. As an Administration we welcome this report and the opportunity tobuild on this work.
Cllr Florence NosegbeChair, Lambeth Libraries CommissionCabinet Member for Culture, Sport and 2012 Games