In the library yesterday we received a visit from the Mayor, the Shadow Minister for libraries and their entourages to look at what Darren Taylor of Eco Computer Systems has achieved at Crofton Park Library. The Mayor asked me to explain what I do there. I explained about leading the campaign to save the library and then volunteering in the library and now running an employment service, starting a scrabble club and hopefully a folk club. The shadow Minister asked me why people volunteer, I replied that they learn new skills, and helps structure their day.
On 4 February, I chaired Crofton Park Assembly meeting which heard updates from the projects funded by the Assembly. Darren Taylor, Chief Executive of ECO computers led a consultation on future plans for the Crofton Park Community Library, including establishing a café, a floor plan that provides space for a number of community activities. Darren was applauded for his ideas. The Assembly contributed £15,000 from its grans fund to contribute towards the set up costs for the refurbishment. We also heard plans for establishing a Youth Assembly and planning for this year’s Crofton Park Carnival.
Councillor Pauline Morrison is to provide an employment service in Crofton Park Community Library. Cllr Morrison, one of the leaders of the Save Crofton Park Library Campaign said: 'I volunteer in the Library twice a week and thought that this was agood use of my time and experience in this time of high unemployment. I will be happy to help local people with their CV, job search, interview skills and any other support in their search for a job. The service will be free but a donation to the library would be appreciated.'
For more information please contact Councillor Pauline Morrison, 020 8244 5315.
It is business As usual at Crofton Park Library. Councillor Morrison formally opened the library on the 31 May, the day the library was handed over to Darren Taylor of Eco Computers. Using willing volunteers, the library has maintained normal opening hours and also opens at lunchtimes.
Cllr Morrison said: 'We are in a period of transition as new systems and staffing are established. I volunteer to provide lunchtime cover a couple of times a week and encourage others to get involved in a very rewarding activity.'
If you would like to volunteer in your library, then ask for a form at the library desk.
After a long, hard battle, Crofton Park Library will remain open. The Mayor of Lewisham has decided to transfer Crofton Park Library, Grove Park Library and Sydenham Library to Darren Taylor of Eco Computers to run as a social enterprise.
New Cross Library will be closed temporarily to enable repairs and Blackheath Library has been transferred to Age Exchange.
Cllr Morrison – one of the leaders of the campaign said: 'This is wonderful news for Crofton Park Community. The campaign brought all sections of the community together and we already have a significant number of volunteers to work with the Library Manager.'
Crofton Park Ward Assembly has ring-fenced £15,000 to support set up costs as the library transforms into Crofton Park Community Library, to eventually include:
If you would like to volunteer in the library then please contact email@example.com.
On Tuesday 12 April, the bidders who were interested in taking over those libraries due to be closed by the Council presented their plans in the Civic Suite.
It was disappointing to see that after all this time there were in fact only four bidders – two of whom are interested in Crofton Park Library:
The future of Crofton Park Community Library is now at a key stage. At 12.30pm on Saturday 2 April there is a public meeting at St Hilda’s Church where Darren Taylor presents his bid to the people of Crofton Park. If people are happy with the information they receive, we will be asking them to sign a petition supporting Darren’s bid.
Why are we supporting him?
He is the only interested bidder who has engaged with the local people people and library users to find out what they want. A group of us have been working with Darren over the past three months to build his bid and to ensure that it includes what local people have said they want to see in a Community Library.
Then the timetable is as follows:
As reported recently, Cllr Morrison, a group of residents and community groups have been working with Darren Taylor of Eco Computers to see how we could maintain a library and other community facilities at Crofton Park Library.
We have been meeting on a regular basis and have now formed a 'Shadow Board' to support Darren’s bid as our preferred bidder. Our vision for Crofton Park Library is to attract investment into the library (which Darren’s bid does) so that the upstairs can be repaired and brought into use.
We could then have a community café, community space for groups to use, training opportunities and a library. If you want to see Darren’s work then visit Pepys Community Library at Deptford Strand SE8.
We will then be looking for volunteers to get involved – Could that be YOU?
Crofton Park, Blackheath, Grove Park, New Cross, and Sydenham libraries have all been closed by the Mayor and Cabinet.
Officers have been asked to work on proposals to deliver community libraries in these areas.