Opening of Pepys Community Library

Opening of our 13th library

Pepys Community Library

Community library services are an exciting development that sees council library services housed in centres that are run by community organisations providing a mix of activities for local people. We currently have six community libraries including Pepys.

They are in addition to the seven council-run libraries at Catford, Deptford, Downham, Forest Hill, Lewisham, Manor House and Torridon Road.

World Book Night UK and Ireland

I was delighted to attend World Book Night this year at Lewisham Library. I gave out 20 copies of one of the World Book Night books - to those who don't regularly read in their communities. There is no charge for these books, they are provided by World Book Night.

Deptford Lounge

Range of activities

A landmark £20m community facility in Deptford continues to offer a range of events.

The Deptford Lounge is part of a development which includes a new state-of-the-art home for Tidemill Academy Classrooms there envelop a large courtyard garden and school facilities are shared with the community, including a rooftop sports pitch.

The lounge opens on one side onto Giffin Square, a renovated public open space and to the other side sits the new Wavelengths pool.

Carnegie Libraries

Sydenham Library

Andrew Carnegie, Scottish-American businessman and philanthropist donated money so that libraries could be built. More than 2,500 Carnegie libraries were built, including some belonging to public and university library systems.

One of these is Sydenham library. Most of the library buildings were unique, constructed in a number of architectural styles, including Beaux-Arts, Italian Renaissance, Baroque, Classical Revival, and Spanish Colonial. Scottish Baronial was one of the styles used in Carnegie's native Scotland. Each style was chosen by the community. The architecture was typically simple and formal, welcoming patrons to enter through a prominent doorway, nearly always accessed via a staircase.

Nearly all of Carnegie's libraries were built according to "The Carnegie Formula", which required matching contributions from the town that received the donation. It must:

demonstrate the need for a public library; provide the building site; annually provide ten percent of the cost of the library's construction to support its operation; and, provide free service to all.

Carnegie assessed applications using criteria which favoured poorer towns, but applicants had to undertake to support their library, providing it with books etc. from the rates.