New partnership running of Highgate Library

posted 21 Mar 2015, 09:58 by dartmouth park   [ updated 21 Mar 2015, 10:09 ]

Thursday March 19th


Councillors, Camden Library Service Staff and Friends and supporters assembled at Highgate Library to mark the beginning of a new phase in its history. It opened in 1906 as the first public library in the London borough of St Pancras. From April Camden Council and volunteers from the local community will work together as equal partners to manage and staff the library. Highgate Library will continue to be a public library, a part of Camden’s Library Service, and remain open, as now, four days a week.

     This joint management of a public service is a radical experiment in Council-Community co-operation, a first for Camden and possibly for the rest of the country.

     Camden Council will continue to fund the building and contribute its public sector expertise and experience of running libraries. Volunteers from the community will contribute their different but valuable skills and experience to the running and development of the Library, not only keeping it open but also helping to shape its future.

     Councillor Abdul Hai, the cabinet member responsible for libraries unveiled the new sign in the presence of Rachel Brignall, Head of Libraries, Sam Eastop, who takes over from her next month, Saleh Ahmed, area manager, Caroline Spencer, library manager and the staff who will work alongside volunteers. The chair of the Friends, Sarah Harrison, spoke for the Friends, supported by FOHL patron the author June Rose, committee members, the trained volunteers and representatives of local groups who have helped to plan the new arrangements, including Ian Dungavell from Friends of Highgate Cemetery, Andrew Sanalitro, director of Highgate Newtown Community Centre, Patrick Lefevre, chair of Dartmouth Park Conservation Area advisory committee, Mark Stubbings, head of Brookfield School and local councillors Oliver Lewis, Sally Gimson and Sian Berry.

dartmouth park,
21 Mar 2015, 10:06