This is an archive of the Wivenhoe Forum hyperlocal community messageboard. It ran from 2010-2020.

This archive will be permanently deleted on 31st December 2021.

Posting is disabled.

Wivenhoe Library faces closure

According to the Gazette 25 of Essex's 74 libraries are earmarked for closure including Prettygate. Nineteen others including Stanway, Wivenhoe, West Mersea, and Brightlingsea face closure within the next two years. Remaining libraries would serve as 'hubs' (what does that mean?).

Smaller libraries could stay open 16 to 32 hots a week but only with 'volunteer support'.

ECC apparently say this will save £2 million a year. 
«1345678

Comments

  • That's terrible news.

  • Let’s shut everything down so there is nothing left soulless communities . While Colchester is the fastes growing town outside of London the extra council tax generated should be enough to counter the cuts from central government. . Stop paying officers silly amounts stop waisting money on idiotic projects like Ipswich  road alterations that won’t work . I really do wonder about their so called Essex county council and the lunatics running it 
  • edited November 2018
    The government declared "austerity" is over. In this context it appears difficult for Essex County Council to justify the closure of so many libraries.

    This leaves two possibilities; firstly, additional funding is not actually available from central government and the Prime Minister is lying? Secondly, Essex Country Council has an ideological commitment to stripping the county of services regardless of available funds?


  • According to the Gazette 25 of Essex's 74 libraries are earmarked for closure including Prettygate. Nineteen others including Stanway, Wivenhoe, West Mersea, and Brightlingsea face closure within the next two years. Remaining libraries would serve as 'hubs' (what does that mean?).

    Smaller libraries could stay open 16 to 32 hots a week but only with 'volunteer support'.

    ECC apparently say this will save £2 million a year. 
    More money is due to be wasted, duelling of St Andrews Ave and Greenstead roundabout, they got to get the funds from somewhere. 
  • edited November 2018
    Although a community space is needed. Maybe we need to think differently. Books delivered to your house or a community hub (like WTC) or even Amazon type lockers. 

    For a more digital world, the books could be ebooks, like kindle etc.

    Our library is small and has a small choice of reading, so I haven't used it in years. 

    But £2m is nothing in the scale of the ECC budget, but central government keep cutting regional and local council budgets despite the end of austerity. 
  • The public library in the High Street is an essential part of Wivenhoe's life. Our residents should make their objections known to all the members of Essex County Council. Preparations should start now for securing the building and running the facility with volunteers.
  • The following site gives some of the pros and cons of volunteer run libraries http://www.publiclibrariesnews.com/campaigning/volunteer-run-libraries

    Volunteers do a lot of good work in Wivenhoe.  Is the pool of potential volunteers large enough also to man a library?

    There could be some upsides to having community control of the library and the library space.  More activities could happen there and on more days of the week, provided there was a good business model.

    As a first step the library should be placed on the list of community assets.


  • Mottza said:

    For a more digital world, the books could be ebooks, like kindle etc.

    Our library is small and has a small choice of reading, so I haven't used it in years. 

    With your computer you can access every book, cd, dvd that is in the Elan catalogue, request it be sent to your local Wivenhoe library, and not need to even get on a bus to pick up your choice.  You may discover books that you would not have thought of looking at, and surprisingly recent films available to borrow for £2.05.  You may find very good out-of-print books unavailable elsewhere. Our local librarians are knowledgeable and helpful. 

    I have been doing this for years, and am very grateful for the service.  There are also e-magazines, e-books, and e-audiobooks for free from the library service.  Sometimes there aren't enough bookcases !
  • Hence if the library goes, you could order the book and return to a local collection point (or book bin?)
  • Mottza said:
    Hence if the library goes, you could order the book and return to a local collection point (or book bin?)
    I do not think it is quite as simple as that. How would you access the collection point/bin? OK with your library card. Then how would you check out the book? There would have to be a machine such as the one in the library but these are confusing for older people. Even if you need a card to get into the collection point, how do you stop theft. There are security devices at the library.

    Amazon type delivery boxes might work, but there would have to be a lot of them. Have you seen the number of reservations on the library shelves? There are an awful lot at times.


  • I'm sure most people want to see the library remain as it is a useful resource.  I think so much more could be done with the site (and I say site rather than the current building). A multi-purpose site could provide something really special in that part of Wivenhoe.   I guess it would have to be prised away from ECC first though...
  • Our book group has been meeting at the library for over eight years. We have read all sorts of fiction. We have had some choices which have disappointed,(some of them prize winners), but so many that we have been really glad to have been given the opportunity to read. It is a great way to meet other people who enjoy reading, have interesting and lively discussions about the books we have shared, and make friends. 

    I may be unusual in that I read all the time and watch very little television. I do not use e-books or a kindle. I cannot afford to buy all the books I want to read. I do not see the Library as a luxury....
  • Good to see some constructive comments here. Let's keep it going.
    Times, they are a-changing, but if we put forward a sustainable and future-proof plan for this public space, we can keep it going.
  • This would be a great loss for Wivenhoe. I bought a kindle but soon put it aside to read books again, it’s now only used for holidays. The Elan catalogue is good, the service efficient I order most of my books that way, easy to get your favourite authors. . I hope if Wivenhoe gets the choice of being staffed by volunteers rather than closing, I am sure this town would have people interested in keeping the service alive
  • Another satisfied user of the online ordering system here, but I also like to browse the shelves occasionally and have found some hidden gems. I also enjoy the book group held at the Library. So I don't want to see the library close though agree it could be better used. I've been to a few evening classes there but there could surely be more - and also I've heard there's no youth club in Wivenhoe due to lack of premises so maybe it could be held in the Library building?
  • A Facebook group was started earlier today if anyone would like to join - Save Wivenhoe Library!  It already has almost 700 members. 

    There is is also an online petition circulating somewhere and a paper copy will be available to sign at the market in the Congregational Hall tomorrow.
  • To be honest the only time in the past 15 years my family have used the library was to collect extra recycle bags.
  • We must fight the changes. The use of libraries should be encouraged by the council and government - they are essential to literacy, to community, to debate. Instead of encouraging their use, they attempt to close the doors. Libraries are one of the few places where people with/without money can gather. The closure of these spaces - isolating us and encouraging us to stay at home - not mix with the wider society - and closing books to those who haven't the money to ping Amazon ... these are the things that are damaging democracy. 
    I'm sorry people haven't been going to the library. Now might be the time to give it a go.
  • These are the people to write to: Bernard Jenkin MP [email protected] and [email protected] who is portfolio holder for Libraries. The thing to sign is https://www.change.org/p/save-wivenhoe-library-and-librarians
  • I agree with many of the suggestions that the library could be smarter with the ordering of books etc. as although it is a service they offer, it doesn't seem to be widely known about. Also the user interface is not that great. However this service should all be about helping people make more use of the library, rather than to justify how it can close, allowing some access to books. Children don't engage with books by looking online and choosing. They love browsing the physical books while choosing. 
    Although they do a great job in the library perhaps there needs to be some thought on how the community can utilise the library space more?
  • Amazon and eBay collection point would be useful 

  • The residents of Wivenhoe have paid for the Library service here for many decades via the Domestic Rates, Community Charge and the Council Tax systems. What is now being proposed is the closure of Wivenhoe's Library and that the residents of Wivenhoe continue to pay for the provision of library services elsewhere in Essex. That is not equitable and should not be accepted. 
  • @Cobra, sounds like taxation without librarization! 
  • WTC have anticipated this loss for a long time. In anticipation we have perviously suggested to ECC that WTC take over the service and the building. However ECC are not willing to let go of the building as an asset. I believe the Library could work in the same way a pub can when not tied to a brewery. Additionally given the freedom of owning it ourselves the libary could happily coexist with other services/functions. So for instance WTC could move their office to this disabled friendly space and rent out the TC offices to generate an income. Or support the finance of staffing by running it along side a cafe/gallery or function space. All sort of things could work and I would encourage people to feed in ideas to WTC as somehow we have to save what is a well loved, (if under utilized), piece of social infrastructure.

  • I assume that means WTC could take over the building if they paid rent to ECC. I guess that would be more than the rent that could be charged for the WTC offices. However, with a mix of some paid staffing supported by volunteers the possibilities for library and community hub are endless and definitely income-generation possibilities. 

    Is the library listed as a Community Asset?  If not that needs doing so there is a chance of saving the building if ECC decide to sell the plot. 
  • There was a lot of discussion about listing the Library as a Community Asset but unfortunately I am not sure if it was or possible or not and therefore if it ever happened. No doubt this will be discussed tonight and I will repot back.
  • The petition against Wivenhoe Library closing appears to be associated with Rosalind Scott. But, in my view, a petition directed to the relevant Cabinet member will not be enough to gain significant impact. What will be needed is a set of approaches to all the County Councillors across Essex: their e-mail and telephone details are available on ECC's website. John Jowers, the current ECC chairman, represents West Mersea and is easily accessible. Wivenhoe will not succeed in keeping its Library open unless local residents' objections to closure are heard right across Essex.
  • I've been a library user for many years and am really angry to hear about the closure plan. Sometimes I browse the shelves, but usually I'm picking up/returning a book I've reserved from the catalogue. It's been a fantastic service, especially when I worked away, with books there in Wivenhoe for me to pick up at the weekend.
    I always talk to the staff, even if I use the book machines.
    I know families with young children who use it a lot, and I'm sure there are others who don't.  But let's encourage the latter rather than stop the former.
  • lizliz
    edited November 2018
    There is a Save Wivenhoe Library group. The next meeting is on Thursday 7.30pm at the library. This afternoon's meeting confirmed that the best way of keeping the library as a professionally run service for all, and for future generations is to a) use the library by getting a ticket b) borrowing books and c) use the ONLY chance to have your say to Essex County Council by filling out the consultation form that opens this Friday - accessed then at http://Essex.gov.uk/libraries-consultation or ring 03456037639. Don't forget that we are working to support the library for others' needs as well as our own: borrow a book today, so that someone else can borrow a book tomorrow; take your children to the library, so others have that option in the future too. Community run libraries are rarely sustainable and we need the professionalism of librarians.

    Please note that the library is not being closed and we have until February to save it from the downgrade-proposals. Nothing has been concluded and there are many who have fight and passion for the public service to be saved. We can do it together.
Sign In or Register to comment.