14 November 2011

Lambeth Library Commission recommends keeping Minet Library open

The Minet Library on Knatchbull Road, SE5 in Lambeth's Vassall Ward is set to remain open if the proposals of Lambeth's Library Commission are adopted by the Council Cabinet at their meeting next week.

Minet Library in Vassall
Owing to central government cuts Lambeth is having to reduce spending on its nine libraries by £750,000  and it was feared that the smaller community libraries such as the Minet would be hit hardest.

The Commission however recommends keeping the Minet open and the Council has come forward with proposals to make libraries such as the Minet into community libraries run in partnership with local people.

In other sections of its report the Commission recommends introducing seven day opening for Brixton and Streatham libraries and increased self-service facilities to reduce costs.

The Commission also recommends introducing wifi across the borough's libraries to allow library users to make use of their laptops, smartphones and other devices to access the internet - this will also reduce pressure on the library computers.

Councillor Florence Nosegbe, Lambeth Cabinet Member responsible for libraries, who chaired the Commission said: “I’m pleased that the Commission has proposed a model that protects access to the library service in every part of the borough by working more closely with the local community."

She added “As part of our plan to make Lambeth’s Britain’s first co-operative council, the final decisions rest with the community - and we’ll back the community’s decisions. Our aim is to increase access, and extend the reach of libraries by making services available at more locations, and get more people using them so that the service is preserved for future generations. Investing in new technology such as ebooks and wifi will expand their appeal but also save money and make the service more flexible."

Read the full Library Commission report