Have your say on proposed changes to library services

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Following changes made to our library service in 2022, we've been listening to residents and staff who have said that despite best efforts, the service model isn’t working – that it doesn’t provide the opening hours needed or enough of the services that our residents want and need.

We have been working with Activist Group, specialists in research and advice, to review the library service and to develop recommendations for change. They have been looking at how we can make better use of the existing resources to meet the needs of Croydon’s residents. Research included looking at demand, local need, usage, demographics, the condition of buildings and resident feedback to date.

The cabinet report sets out the detailed research findings and proposed recommendations for a more sustainable library service. It proposes longer opening hours including weekends, with more events and services available to residents, by reducing the number of buildings and investing in well-used sites. No job losses are proposed, with the council intending to use the majority of the money saved from building costs to increase the number of library staff to provide the extended opening and outreach services.


The proposal:

Six 'library hubs' (Central, Ashburton, Thornton Heath, Norbury, Selsdon and Coulsdon) are proposed to be open five to six days a week, including Saturdays, and will deliver an extensive offer of books, wifi, PCs, study spaces and events. These libraries have all proved to be well-used, accessible buildings that meet local needs. Future investment in these sites is recommended to improve the facilities and extend the opening times and services available.

To make the improvements proposed, four library buildings; Bradmore Green, Broad Green, Sanderstead, and Shirley are proposed to be closed. This proposal is based on analysis of the buildings including visitor numbers, size and condition of the buildings, the size and needs of the communities they serve and running costs.

Activist’s research found three areas — New Addington, Purley and South Norwood — need library services, but low visitor numbers suggest the current set-up isn’t working. The council is proposing to introduce 'community hubs' in these areas, where a library would be available alongside other services such as family and adult education services and community partnerships.

Other library services – such as the home library service and the extensive digital offer, including e-books and magazines, online learning and training resources – are set to continue and be improved as part of the future service.


Have your say:

The council is keen to hear the views of residents including any impacts and alternative options to closing buildings and improving the service for residents. The consultation will also ask for ideas for future library outreach services and community venues that could be used to reach more people.

Through the consultation, residents will be asked for their views and ideas for developing the offer in New Addington, Purley and South Norwood to help design how library services can be improved in these areas, to make them more accessible and better used by local people.

There are many ways you can get involved in the consultation:

  • Take the online survey by 11.59pm, Friday 19 April 2024
  • Pick up a paper survey from a Croydon library (available from Monday 12 February) - check library opening times here
  • Join one of the public events being held in libraries and community venues. Check March events here, and April events here.
  • Request a paper copy of the consultation proposals and questionnaire by calling 020 7884 5159 and leaving a message including your name, full postal address and a contact number
Please return paper surveys by Wednesday 17 April 2024.
Paper surveys can be returned to libraries.
Or by post to:
Library Consultation Questionnaire, Croydon Central Library, Croydon Clocktower, Katharine Street, Croydon, CR9 1ET
Alternatively, you can return your questionnaire to your nearest library with a letterbox: Bradmore Green, Broad Green, Coulsdon, Norbury, Purley, Sanderstead, Selsdon, Shirley, South Norwood or Thornton Heath.


What happens next?:

Feedback received will help the council develop further recommendations which are due to go back to cabinet in June 2024.


Following changes made to our library service in 2022, we've been listening to residents and staff who have said that despite best efforts, the service model isn’t working – that it doesn’t provide the opening hours needed or enough of the services that our residents want and need.

We have been working with Activist Group, specialists in research and advice, to review the library service and to develop recommendations for change. They have been looking at how we can make better use of the existing resources to meet the needs of Croydon’s residents. Research included looking at demand, local need, usage, demographics, the condition of buildings and resident feedback to date.

The cabinet report sets out the detailed research findings and proposed recommendations for a more sustainable library service. It proposes longer opening hours including weekends, with more events and services available to residents, by reducing the number of buildings and investing in well-used sites. No job losses are proposed, with the council intending to use the majority of the money saved from building costs to increase the number of library staff to provide the extended opening and outreach services.


The proposal:

Six 'library hubs' (Central, Ashburton, Thornton Heath, Norbury, Selsdon and Coulsdon) are proposed to be open five to six days a week, including Saturdays, and will deliver an extensive offer of books, wifi, PCs, study spaces and events. These libraries have all proved to be well-used, accessible buildings that meet local needs. Future investment in these sites is recommended to improve the facilities and extend the opening times and services available.

To make the improvements proposed, four library buildings; Bradmore Green, Broad Green, Sanderstead, and Shirley are proposed to be closed. This proposal is based on analysis of the buildings including visitor numbers, size and condition of the buildings, the size and needs of the communities they serve and running costs.

Activist’s research found three areas — New Addington, Purley and South Norwood — need library services, but low visitor numbers suggest the current set-up isn’t working. The council is proposing to introduce 'community hubs' in these areas, where a library would be available alongside other services such as family and adult education services and community partnerships.

Other library services – such as the home library service and the extensive digital offer, including e-books and magazines, online learning and training resources – are set to continue and be improved as part of the future service.


Have your say:

The council is keen to hear the views of residents including any impacts and alternative options to closing buildings and improving the service for residents. The consultation will also ask for ideas for future library outreach services and community venues that could be used to reach more people.

Through the consultation, residents will be asked for their views and ideas for developing the offer in New Addington, Purley and South Norwood to help design how library services can be improved in these areas, to make them more accessible and better used by local people.

There are many ways you can get involved in the consultation:

  • Take the online survey by 11.59pm, Friday 19 April 2024
  • Pick up a paper survey from a Croydon library (available from Monday 12 February) - check library opening times here
  • Join one of the public events being held in libraries and community venues. Check March events here, and April events here.
  • Request a paper copy of the consultation proposals and questionnaire by calling 020 7884 5159 and leaving a message including your name, full postal address and a contact number
Please return paper surveys by Wednesday 17 April 2024.
Paper surveys can be returned to libraries.
Or by post to:
Library Consultation Questionnaire, Croydon Central Library, Croydon Clocktower, Katharine Street, Croydon, CR9 1ET
Alternatively, you can return your questionnaire to your nearest library with a letterbox: Bradmore Green, Broad Green, Coulsdon, Norbury, Purley, Sanderstead, Selsdon, Shirley, South Norwood or Thornton Heath.


What happens next?:

Feedback received will help the council develop further recommendations which are due to go back to cabinet in June 2024.

Page last updated: 10 Apr 2024, 10:47 AM