In January I posted an article, 'Town Hall Library invaded from the south' LINK about the books stock and shelves from the closed down Neasden Library being off-loaded into the Town Hall Library and the subsequent over-crowding and mess. The library is still in chaos as the pictures above, from the Preston Library Campaign website LINK, show.
Local people have begun to complain bitterly about the state of the library and it is clear there aren't enough staff available to clear it, and more importantly, make the stock available to the public as promised. Instead it is in boxes on the floor, sometimes stacked at a dangerous height; on trolleys and in the staff work room. In addition there are empty shelving units, and some books from the usual stock, such as those in Hindi, are no longer accessible. Windows and blinds are inaccessible because of the additional material and parts of the library are cordoned off.
Is this a comprehensive and efficient library service?
As well as the state of the library itself, local people are having misgivings about the move to the Civic Centre next year. The library, despite being based at the Town Hall, also serves a community function as the local library for the families of the Chalkhill Estate (and its primary school), Pilgrims Way Estate, and the flats on Kings Drive. They use the homework club, half-term activities and the Summer Reading Scheme. All will be far less accessible to them when the library moves all the way to the new Civic Centre. Older chidlren wil no longer be able to go there independently and it will be further for school trips from Chalkhill Primary and Ark Academy's primary phase.
A further question being asked is, 'Will the Civic Centre Library be closed on event days?' . Having seen the crowds of fans in the triangle formed by the Civic Centre, Stadium and Arena my answer would be that even it is open, it will hardly be the place for families to battle against the mass of boisterous fans to go and change their library books. This will mean that the new library won't really be open the promised 7 days a week. If you take the current period until May the stadium will be in use for sports activities on 8 weekend days and one evening. There may be other events in addition to these as well as those on at the Arena.