Thursday 8 February 2024

Brent Library Events - Things can improve if the Council will listen

 Guest post by Philip Grant in a personal capacity


Last month I wrote about “Some Great Library Events – but where can you find them online?” I commented underneath that post: 


‘As regular readers of articles and comments will know, I'm a great believer in letting those in power at Brent Council know if there is something I feel strongly about. 


It is not just to complain or criticise, but to try to help them to "get things right", for the benefit of the local community, and Brent Council itself. I'm sure they would do a better job if more people took the trouble to let them know about things that don't seem right (although whether they will listen is often a problem!).’


I sent a copy of my article, with some suggestions for how things could be improved, to the Cabinet Lead Member for Customers, Communities, and Culture, Cllr. Fleur Donnelly- Jackson, and asked her ‘to forward it to the Council Officers whose action is required to sort out the problems.’ She replied to my email a few days later, and I’m glad to say that there have already been some improvements, with more to come.


I will set out, at the bottom of this post, for everyone’s information, the text of the email I received on 7 February from Brent’s Head of Libraries, Collections and Heritage Services. First, though, let me tell you how you can now easily get details on Brent Libraries events, and book places on them, on the Council’s website.


From the home page of Brent Council’s website ( ), look under the heading “Find the service you need” and “click” on the box that says “Libraries, arts and heritage”. On that page, “click” on the box that says “Libraries”, and when that page comes up, scroll down to this brightly coloured section:



As you will see, that section now contains two “links”. The first, “View our booklet to see what’s on at your local library”, will take you to an online version of the booklet you can pick up from your regular Brent Council Library. The second, “Book for selected events on our Eventbrite page”, takes you to the site with details of all the forthcoming events, and each one includes a box you can “click” on to reserve your place at it. Here is an example:


It just goes to show, and I hope Brent Council and its councillor members will take note, that things can improve if they listen to what residents make the effort to tell them. [I must add a special thank you to Jayne, whose comment under my previous post about her personal experience of trying to find details of a library event online was passed on to Brent Libraries - I’m sure that it helped to make things happen!] 


When I wrote my guest post last month, the new Brent Libraries, Arts and Heritage Eventbrite website had only 48 followers. I’d like to think that “Wembley Matters” readers have helped to boost that number, which has now almost doubled. Spread the word, because there are plenty of great, free, local events which we can enjoy!



As mentioned above, this is the text of the email I received (copied to Cllr. Donnelly-Jackson, who had asked for action, in response to my contacting her) on 7 February:


Dear Philip,


Thank you for drawing the subject of Eventbrite publicity for Brent Libraries Arts and Heritage to our attention.


Thank you for alerting us to the issue concerning programme publicity as it is very important to inform Brent residents and indeed people living outside of Brent about the wonderful range of free programming on offer. Our aim has always been to offer culture on residents’ doorstep.


In order to improve Council wide publicity for all events it was agreed to bring all programming under one Eventbrite website umbrella last Autumn. This resulted in a rebranded name for Brent Culture which is as you have highlighted now called Libraries, Arts and Heritage which actually provides more clarity and better reflects the range of events we offer.


Work is still being done to update customers about this change. We signpost residents to the popular What's On guides from the Libraries section of our website and in line with your suggestion, we have also now added the Eventbrite link (see below image). In addition, we included the link to the new Eventbrite page in the latest Spring What’s On guide and will also refer people to the new page in future editions.


As well as our What’s On guides, we do also publicise our libraries events across our social media channels and through our popular Libraries and Culture e-newsletter.


I agree with you that we do need to ensure publicity is accessible for all, including those who may not be as familiar with QR codes or use digital channels to access information. That is why we make our What’s On guides available in all our libraries and will also look at further ways of helping spread the word about our events programme amongst those who may not be digitally enabled.


Lastly, we do agree that ideally all Brent Libraries events should be featured on the webpage and will look to introduce a new process so that this becomes more routine moving forward.


Thank you also for your continuing support of Libraries, Arts and Heritage programming and indeed publicising our upcoming events in Wembley Matters.  





Head of Libraries, Collections and Heritage Services


So that’s more improvements to look forward to – well worth the effort of letting the Council know (this time).

Philip Grant.

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