A spokesman from LBH was quoted tonight on a short BBC News report on the imminent closure of Marcus Garvey Library in Tottenham:
"Haringey Council Statement: We're very disappointed that a £3million investment to revamp and modernise one of our most popular libraries has been misrepresented. The refurbishment of the library will see it enhanced with new books and equipment, as well as additional services."
You can watch the bulletin on youtube, here: [ MGL on the news]
This is the library that is being halved in size as they cram in most of the Customer Services from Apex House. Most of the books are being sold off or binned, including the much respected Black Triangle collection on Black history. The Young Adult section will be scrapped. The little children's garden will be trampled into nothing. It will be closed for at least six months, and their 'alternative provision'? a list of other libraries. The computer access, often so busy it has to be shared, will just not be there for the thousands of regular users. There was no consultation.
There is no way this work ('revamp and modernise') would be happening if the council had not sold the Apex House site to developer Grainger for £3.4million, necessitating its demolition. They obviously did not think through where to put the services, they were hoping it could all go online. There was some stumbling about last summer till they settled on MGL. The original plans claimed it would take 20% of 'wasted space' (ie the exhibition area) in the library, now it's a whole floor. That £3.4million (which did not go to tender, for near half a hectare of land next to the best tube line in London) does not cover the cost of 'revamping' MGL and the Wood Green Library which is also absorbing some overspill, £3million and £2million respectively.
Oh and the librarians are having to apply for their own jobs, being redefined as 'information providers'.
If LBH would just be more honest it would help a tiny bit. But to throw it back at us is a heap of nonsense, even by the LBH spin department's notorious standards. Such a ridiculous smear makes them look worse. Cllr Arthur is on holiday, so can we get a name, Mx Spokesperson?
Support the Campaign to stop these proposals here:
Sign the Petition here: https://www.change.org/p/tell-haringey-council-to-save-tottenham-s-...
Email: email@example.com (NOTE corrected email on 17.8.15)
and to see some of the removed books, check the tumblr page: http://friendsofmgl.tumblr.com/
[Edit - xref to a later post about the leap from the proposals nodded through cabinet in March, to the reality being enacted now.]
Planning documents here, for changing the back door. Thassall.
I am sorry that I cannot attend the rally today as I have family business out of London. However I am increasingly worried that we do not have professionally qualified Librarians who can liaise with Council members over the running of the libraries. There is good guidance from cilip (Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals) as to what services a Public Library should contain. I speak from having a B.A. and Library School Diploma from Victoria University of Wellington New Zealand and a Library School Diploma from NZ Library School and having worked in libraries in 7 countries. It is certainly possible to have customer services from counters in libraries as long as all services are professionally organised with qualified people in charge of each department. More communication is necessary.