The Paul Hamlyn Foundation has awarded £180,000 to Merton Library and Heritage Service and the Quality Leaders Project (QLP) Steering Group to develop innovative services to Merton’s young people.
The QLP-Youth Project will refocus public library services so that young people themselves decide on the services they need. In this way services to young people will be mainstreamed.
Susan Blishen from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation (PHF) explained PHF’s interest in the Quality Leaders Project:
“The Paul Hamlyn Foundation has a strong interest in improving access to books, reading and library services for young people, and others, who are affected by disadvantage. Its Reading and Libraries Challenge Fund, launched this year, will support innovative projects that share this commitment to improving access. Although an award was granted to The QLP -Youth Project prior to the opening of the PHF’s Fund, its focus, direction and proposed methods of delivery fit very well with the criteria of the Foundation’s new scheme.”
The QLP model, which is based on the idea of “management development through service development”, will provide new skills to library staff so that they can develop and deliver new and innovative services. The approach has been developed over a number of years, with recent funding of £20,000 coming from the Partners in Innovation Programme of The National Youth Agency and previous work being funded by Resource: The Council for Museums, Archives and Libraries. See the QLP website for further details and copies of its publication QLP News: http://www.seapn.org.uk/qlp.html.
The QLP programme starts in June (25th). Merton will be one of the 6 participating authorities and will provide a leadership role for the Project as a whole. Merton’s QLP Team will be led by Anthony Hopkins who has been helping a group of young people to produce the first issue of Merton Sense; Merton’s only interactive youth magazine. The team is expected to include the newly-appointed Youth Library Development Officer, Joyce Ogunjobi.
Press Contacts – Kirstin Rowan – LB of Merton – 020 8545 3483
Susan Blishen – The Paul Hamlyn Foundation – 020 7227 3500