Merton Council is set to introduce longer opening hours and more support at two of its libraries.
Libraries that will benefit from extended opening hours and more support from January are Donald Hope Library in Colliers Wood and West Barnes Library. From January, Donald Hope Library will open Fridays from 9.30am – 7.00pm and West Barnes Library will be given extra support on Mondays, a move that is supported by the local Friends group.
Councillor Nick Draper, cabinet member for community and culture, said: “Not only are our libraries the cheapest to run in London, they are amongst the most highly regarded and I am delighted that that we can extend opening hours and increase support at no extra cost. We know how important libraries are to our residents and, despite these difficult economic times, we have fought hard to ensure that not a single library in Merton has closed whilst extending opening hours at all of our libraries.”
Notes to editors
Merton Council runs seven award-winning libraries across the borough and here is why:
- Net increase of library opening hours in April 2011 at a time when many authorities were either closing or reducing opening hours of their libraries.
- The most efficient library service in London with customer satisfaction increasing year on year following the most recent Public Library User Survey (PLUS).
- Currently implementing a schools library membership scheme that will automatically join up every school child in Merton to their local library.
- Recently rolled out free wifi in all our libraries.
- Provide e-books and e-magazines.
- Winner of Local Government Chronicle (LGC) award for ‘Efficiency’ in 2012. The only library service to have received such an award.
- Highly commended in the Municipal Journal awards in 2012 for its ‘Workforce Transformation’.
- Winner of the Team London ‘Building Stronger Neighbourhoods’ award for its innovative volunteering model.
- Recognised as a volunteering good practice model by Volunteering England.
- Provide consultancy and peer support for other authorities on their library service models.