Lewisham Council is hiding library numbers

Gina writes:

“Calling all dedicated and hard-working volunteers in Lewisham’s so-called community libraries. Want to know how you’re doing? How many books you’re managing to lend? How visitor numbers are holding up?

Well, tough. As of October 2012, Lewisham council has decided to stop allowing access to the statistics which it used to publish on a quarterly basis, often before anyone even asked.

Now Lewisham tell us we can wait until the official government statistics agency, CIPFA, produces its report in December 2013 for the year ended last April. What they don’t tell us is that CIPFA only provides figures for the borough as a whole, not for individual libraries. So there will be no way of knowing – to give but one example – how many times Blackheath community library’s total of 13 books for teenagers made it off the shelves. Lewisham also fail to mention that CIPFA make a hefty charge for access to their publications.

Surely the council can have nothing to hide! Like, how are “community” libraries faring compared with the ones still being run by the local authority? Come on, Lewisham. You’ve handed over almost half your libraries to volunteers. Now let the people who are doing your work for you see how they’re doing.”

5 Comments

Filed under blackheath, books, lewisham, library

5 responses to “Lewisham Council is hiding library numbers

  1. Pingback: Round up | Alan Gibbons' Diary

  2. Pingback: Libraries News Round-up: 27th September 2013 | The Library Campaign

  3. Anonymous

    ” Blackheath community library’s total of 13 books for teenagers made it off the shelves”

    Not true – there’s an entire bank of books for teenagers.

    • Delighted to hear it! 13 was the number Lewisham council gave me when I first asked about provision for teenagers now that they no longer have anywhere to go for quiet study in the evenings. It sounds as if I touched a chord. Any idea how often the teenage titles have been taken out?

  4. Anonymous

    Trouble brewing – professional librarian in charge has been made redundant. What will that do for the service?

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