Friday, 18 August 2017

Latest News on the Library

There was a meeting of HOWLS at the Library on Wednesday evening - I wasn't quite organised enough to blog that it was coming up, but some interesting information has come out of the meeting.
HOWLS have been getting in touch with Powys County Council to get some answers to various concerns they have over the future of the library, and at last they have had a response from Kay Thomas, the Chief Librarian. It's a fairly long and detailed response, so here goes:

"RE SHARED FINANCIAL/MANAGEMENT OF CO-LOCATION (co-location means moving the library into the new school building)
We will be discussing the financial and management arrangements of the new premises with the Schools Service and head teacher after term starts again, so more information should be available in the autumn. However, it is certainly my understanding that the library service will remain firmly in charge of service delivery, stock, computers, etc.
The move is being funded out of the Welsh Government capital for the new community schools as a whole, so unfortunately the cost could not be transferred into revenue budgets for the running costs of the existing library- capital and revenue budgets are entirely separate, as capital is a one-off investment, whilst revenue is year on year costs.

As you are aware, Powys County Council consulted over the future of Hay Library during 2016, with the discussions including the co-location at the new primary school. This project is seen as having considerable benefits, particularly in terms of the developing literacy and reading for pleasure amongst the pupils and their families, and would build on the recent work that HOWLS has done to encourage school children to join the library. Powys County Council's Cabinet recently visited the town, and were very impressed with the potential benefits of the co-location. The proximity of the car park, and good disabled parking, also make it a very accessible and attractive site for a public library.

Whilst the internal fit-out has yet to be finalised and agreed with the school staff and project team, I can answer your questions in general. The main library space comprises 105 square metres, with an additional 52 square metres adjoining, designated as a community space, with a folding door which could close it off from the library if there was a meeting or event needing a quieter, discrete space. With the school hall also adjacent, there could also be options for using that on occasions outside of school hours, for large scale activities and events. (The hall is 163 square metres). There is a plan at the current library which you can see, which shows all of the spaces.

I envisage that wall space will be permanently shelved, whilst any furniture to go in the middle would be portable and could be moved for author visits or other activities, to give the flexibility that we have talked about being lacking in the current library furniture. There will be 5 public computers, which may be a mix of desktop and laptops, as well as space to sit with personal devices. We also plan to introduce a proper self-service terminal and an I-pad for the children."

Kay Thomas also talks about the running costs of the present library building, without giving any firm figures, and the condition of the building (which seems to be pretty good).

So that's the position from Powys County Council at the moment.
More coming soon....

No comments: