BME residents recommend Pollards Hill Library

Residents from black and minority ethnic (BME) groups applaud Pollards Hill Library for its positive work, a recent survey finds.

The survey commissioned by Merton Council and carried out by researchers SMSR Ltd found that 98 per cent of BME library users interviewed felt that the library is a valuable part of the community and 95 per cent rated Pollards Hill Library as good or very good.

As events are taking place across the borough for Black History Month, BME residents were overwhelmingly in support of the library with 85 per cent of users saying the library is a place that unites people of different ages and backgrounds.

The successful results follow the extension and redevelopment of the library in 2008 and 2009 from the Big Lottery’s Community Libraries fund and match funding from Merton Council. Since the opening a Community Engagement Plan has been in place, which aims to deliver opportunities relating to health, basic skills, family learning and community cohesion. It also looks to encourage further involvement in decision making on library services for the community.

Out of 314 BME residents interviewed 254 were members of the library, half of which use the library at least once a week. The reputation of the library has led to positive feedback from non-members with 76 per cent of non-users interviewed saying they are likely to use the library in the future.

The Public Library User Survey (PLUS) begins in October and offers library users across the borough the opportunity to feedback on their experiences and thoughts of the IT and computer provision in local libraries. From 14 – 20 November, all users over 16 will be encouraged to complete the survey to be in with the chance of winning one of five shopping vouchers.

Cabinet member for community and culture, Councillor Martin Whelton said: “It’s always good to hear that our residents are happy with the service we provide. Our libraries offer people from all backgrounds and ages a place to socialise, learn and enjoy, and I hope more residents take advantage of these facilities.”

For more information on what’s taking place within libraries in Merton please visit http://www.merton.gov.uk/libraries or call 020 8274 3783.

Notes to editors:

The Big Lottery Fund distributes half of the National Lottery good cause funding across the UK. The Fund is committed to bringing real improvements to communities and the lives of people most in need.

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Press Contact:

Leoni Munslow

Communications Officer

London Borough of Merton

020 8545 4654