Photocall: Merton responds to demand for Polish literature

In response to a growing Polish community in Merton, the Council will be launching its new collection of 150 Polish books at Wimbledon Library on Saturday 17 November. A mixture of Polish fiction and translations of English fiction, the books will appeal to adults, children and teenagers alike.

Residents of Merton are invited to join London-based Polish art historian Ewa Bialowas and Deputy Mayor, Councillor Phillip Jones, in the library to take a look at the Polish books now available to borrow and enjoy traditional Polish tea and cakes.

At the event Ms Bialowas will talk about how it is often difficult for Polish people living in the UK to borrow books in their own language due to a lack of Polish literature available in libraries, and how it is encouraging to see Merton Council investing in Polish literature suitable for all age groups. She will also highlight the importance of keeping in touch with one’s culture by providing children with the opportunity to visit their local library to learn about their parents’ culture.

Merton Council Cabinet Member for Community Services, Councillor Maurice Groves said: “Merton Council has invested in a new collection of Polish books due to rising demand of an increasing number of Polish people who have chosen Merton as the place to live. Just as we try to meet the needs of all the communities in Merton, we are keen to make sure that we have the right resources for our new Polish residents.”

-ENDS-

Notes to editors:

1. Ewa Bialowas was born in Wroclaw, southwest Poland, and later studied art history at the city’s university. She spent a lot of time in London during her studies, when she researched her dissertation on American sculptor Eva Hesse at Tate Modern. She has been a UK resident since 2003.
2. There are an estimated 6,500 Polish born people in the London Borough of Merton, over 2,000 on the Register of Electors, almost 300 Polish-speaking children in Merton schools, over 3,500 National Insurance registrations from Polish nationals and around 650 people born in Poland on the 2001 census.