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Friday, 6 February 2015

Promoting libraries - Marking #NLD15 in Croydon

National Libraries Day is a national celebration of libraries, but not so in Croydon, and Carillion is continuing the tradition in spectacular style.

We've pulled together the history and collated the details of what is going on today, so you can join in, and we've summarised the details here.  But for the history and full details, read on.


In 2012 we had Croydon under fire, caught out by the press for doing nothing to celebrate the event, including a report in The Bookseller.

With news out and the campaign highlighting this, it lead to hastily cobbled together displays by staff in libraries, presumably under instruction,  in order to cover up the Council's omission.

Children's display on the day

Main entrance display in a library


Clearly lessons were not learnt, and Croydon Council chose to ignore National Libraries Day again 2013.

In order to avoid a repeat of the previous year, where staff were further burdened to cobble together a promotion at the last minute, no one mentioned a thing until on the day.  There was no celebration.


was lost in the blur of changes after libraries were outsourced to Laings then rapidly passed on to Carillion. 

Labour wins the Council elections in May 2014 and all wait for them to act on their pre-election promise to rip up the contract.  And they wait, and they wait....

The Campaign met with the Leader and have made attempts to meet with the Labour lead of Libraries. We are still waiting.....

And Croydon library service spiralled ever downward, with bare and disappearing shelves, IT problems, health and safety issues, odd study pass systems put in place, and staff visibly stressed and leaving in number. Staff numbers were so depleted that the main entrance to Croydon Central Library, one of the busiest libraries in the country, was closed off in order to close off areas of unmanned desk space. A handful of posts sum up the year... , and that's not the full depressing story...

We are actually open but you are not welcome here.
Main entrance of Croydon Central.
People turned away, believing it to be closed.

Just one trolley of unprocessed books - often banks of these
were seen in libraries.

Slightly misleading as these service desks, including the one
in the children's libraries and on certain floors, were never staffed.

Finally, with tape.  Eventually removed.
This sharp metal shelf was in place for at least
6 weeks, possibly longer.  
Standard display, promoting new books.

Shelving, Croydon style.

The terms of the contract remain hidden. Promotion of libraries continues to be sporadic and haphazard in the hands of Carillion.....


But surely they could not miss marking National Libraries Day.

No doubt plans will be in place for Ealing libraries, where national library campaigners understand Ed Vaizey MP is due to visit on the day.  Watch this space....

But Croydon, again,  suffers under a maze of misinformation and lack of promotion.  A lot has been teased out by library users, residents and campaigners....

We have -

Just one event 

promoted in the expensive full colour 'What's On' brochure, promoting events in Croydon Libraries.... released in January and still available, hard copy in libraries and also online.

Norbury Library 
9am to 5pm
Write a love letter to your favourite book and libraries, and display it on the graffiti wall.
If you aren't a library member, join free today.

This will have had the greatest reach, and was replicated online. Many will be unaware of anything going on in other Croydon libraries.

But two events

promoted in the online Events calendar, promoting events in Croydon Libraries....  recently updated and available online.

Sanderstead Library
9am to 5pm
Scavenger hunt for the children, where they win a badge for completing it.

"I love libraries because..." hearts, for all ages to complete.

Norbury Library
9am to 5pm
Write a love letter to your favourite book and libraries, and display it on the graffiti wall.

If you aren't a library member, join free today.

No.  Wait... 8 events

promoted late this week on 5 February, and only to those who signed up to the newly created email alert.

Norbury Library
Write a love letter to your favourite book and libraries, and display it on the graffiti wall.

[But not promoting that if you aren't a library member, you can join free today.]

Croydon Central
Contribute with reviews of your Best Reads

Bradmore Green Library
Coulsdon Library
New Addington Library
Purley Library
Sanderstead Library
Selsdon Library

Library scavenger hunt for children

Love Libraries board with paper hearts for adults

If you are not already a member you can join free today

BUT there is more...

Coffee at Bradmore Green
A campaigner has advised that Bradmore Green are running a coffee morning for National Libraries Day, although those who regularly visit were not aware of this, and we have not details of time.  It is assumed it will be in the morning. Please post if you have further details.

AND.... an author event at Central Croydon Library

The campaign was aware of an author promoting an event in Croydon Central library but, until tonight, we did not have any confirmation this was genuine as it was not listed anywhere.

Reading of The Adventures of Obi and Titi 1-2pm  - It is difficult to read the details from the post so do call if you are interested in attending.

And the mystery bonus!

It is also clear from this photo that there is another event going on... See bottom right of the photo. A Reader's Community Stock Selection event.  Not sure when or what it actually involves, but if anyone gets details of this, or any other event, please let us know.

Presumably there will be something going on in other Croydon libraries, including libraries in Broad Green, Ashburton, South Norwood and Thornotn Heath....

Help us to celebrate #NLD15 in Croydon

It's easy..... 

Send us details of events not listed so we can promote them

Visit your library

Join if you aren't already a member

Send us reviews, photos or comments on events you attend by posting here, via email or tweet us @SaveCroydonLibs

Tell us why you love libraries!

And keep an eye on your library, and feed us your views....

We will follow this up with a post summarising all details and comments received. 


Thank you!

AND, we will be tweeting and retweeting, using the hashtags #NLD15 and #Croydon.  

Join in!

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