Refugee Project Rolled Out

Immediate Release
Item Number 158/02

Merton used as good example for whole of London
Merton’s award winning library service for refugees is to be rolled out throughout London by the London Libraries Development Agency.

The pioneering Refugee Resource Collection and Project’s aim is to help asylum seekers and refugees become self-sufficient and make a new life. Library staff visit regularly a local drop-in centre where they issue books and other materials in a variety of identified minority ethnic languages, and those attending the centre are taken to the nearest library to familiarise them with the information that is available there.

The London Libraries Development Agency praised Merton’s work with refugees as “having tremendous success in helping meet the information, learning and cultural needs of these groups through this innovative approach.”

John Pateman, Head of Merton’s Libraries, said: “We realised Libraries change lives and had a lot to offer the refugee community, but they were not in a position to access these. We took a proactive approach to this problem by taking library services directly to the community.

“The roll out of this project underlines all the hard work and dedication put in by library staff to make the scheme work.”

To find out more about Merton’s libraries visit:


Press contact- Jan Leslie