What next for Burngreave library?

What next for Burngreave Library?

Story: Fran Belbin

A meeting was held at the beginning of May to discuss the options for Burngreave Library, which is still being run by Sheffield City Council at Sorby House. Currently open for 21 hours a week over four days, the library is well used by large numbers of residents.

Other libraries across the city that had been threatened with closure are now running a reduced service with volunteers and some support from the Council, for example access to library IT systems and volunteer training.

Save Burngreave Library campaign group have argued that a paid librarian is essential to maintain a quality library service to meet the complex needs of Burngreave. In 2014 the group raised funds to pay for a qualified member of staff. However, the Council rejected this plan because it was not willing to employ the librarian directly and the campaign group does not have the resources to employ a staff member or to manage and support the volunteers who have offered to help keep the service open.

Councillor Mazher Iqbal, Cabinet member for Communities and Public Health, explained that the Council was already under fire for keeping the library open, and now an organisation willing to manage the service must be found or the library will close.

A number of organisations were represented at the meeting and made offers of support. The local housing office, also based in Sorby House, offered to help supervise volunteers and provide onsite support. Other organisations linked to Burngreave, including the Citizens Advice Bureau, Creative Pathways, Manor and Castle Development Trust, Northern Refugee Centre, SOAR and Voluntary Action Sheffield, agreed to set up a group to explore whether one of them could act as a host organisation to manage a staff member and volunteers.

The business planning group will then meet with the Council to try and agree a way forward. Margaret Hill and Cllr Jackie Drayton of the Save Burngreave Library campaign insisted that, while support from these organisations is welcome, it is essential that local people themselves decide on the future of the library, not least on how to spend the money that has been raised.

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The content on this page was added to the website by Graham Jones on 2015-05-25 12:15:05.
The content of the page was last modified by Graham Jones on 2015-06-09 21:28:57.

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