Further to our earlier news that Surrey Country Council has changed its mind regarding the future of Molesey Library we can now confirm that the Cabinet Meeting of 27th September approved the proposal to reincorporate Molesey in the county’s core library network.
The proposal which was based on the scale of the Molesey operation (being much larger than the other libraries threatened with closure) and new work which took into account the overall local needs of the area was carried without controversy.
However, the plans for other libraries affected remain in place and this attracted significant criticism at the meeting. The result was that Councillors for some of the other affected areas ‘called in’ the decision for reconsideration at a council meeting that must take place by 1st November. This looks very unlikely to affect Molesey which is already deploying permanent staff rotas once again. Molesey does look almost certain to be run by the County as before but as we cannot predict exactly the outcome of the review meeting it was decided at a meeting of the Molesey Community Library Steering Group on October 4th to keep the organisation in place in its present form for the time being.
An important new development is that in the light of the decision of 27th September it was decided to re-launch the Community Library Group as a Friends of Molesey Library organisation, assuming we are not impacted by any reconsideration of the earlier decision. Rose Wilson, Head of Surrey Libraries attended this meeting and strongly welcomed the proposal. She spoke about the value of creating a ‘buzz’ around the library and ideas began to be discussed as to exactly how such a body would work. It is anticipated that at some areas of activity will include outreach work involving schools and other community groups, events linked to the library and input to the facilities and services provided. It was also felt that a strong and active Friends organisation will be critical in developing the profile of the library and avoiding future threats. The Community Library Steering Group was unanimous in backing the proposal and firmer plans will be put in place as soon as it is clear that Molesey is not impacted by the review meeting. We thank all volunteers who have come forward thus far and now ask them to ‘stand by’ for involvement in the new organisation where it is clear that their input could be extremely valuable. We welcome any ideas for a new Friends organisation or offers of assistance in running such a body. These can be submitted at the Library or via the Community Library Group e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Well done everyone!