We found a letter in this week’s Epsom Guardian by a local resident, Linda Warr, despairing at what is being done to her local library at Tattenhams. Surrey County Council has been making changes to the Tattenhams’s library in preparation for it to be volunteer run.
As we wait for SCC to respond to our pre-action letter, we could not put the case any better than Linda Warr. So we simply reproduce her letter here as a warning that volunteer-run libraries are not the way forward.
Spiteful vandalism of precious library
You printed such good letters (Your Say, December 15) from Anne Oldham and B Sykes about the destruction of Tattenham’s library.
It has been known for months the staff were to be thrown out. Instead of helping us to fight this insanity, our MP, Councillors and Residents’ Association all encouraged us to volunteer.
They made no effort to find out what would really happen and potential volunteers believed that the library would be handed over with the only loss being one of the three public access computers (with no real explanation as to why it had to go).
In fact, those remaining two computers are the only IT left in the library.
All three staff computers have gone. Inexplicably, so has the computer dedicated to the county catalogue.
In an act of pure vandalism the whole library counter has been ripped out and replaced by just one self-service machine.
This library is now out of the loop. The supply of new books has dried up.
Staff cannot help the public to request books, to override the system when sensible, or to look up their PIN if a computer is free.
As time goes on I’m sure users will be shocked at how little “service” is left.
Staff are reduced to shelving and to helping disgruntled, if not furious, people to borrow and return books.
What a way to spend their last weeks in a job that they used to love.
The whole fiasco has been cruel, spiteful and vindictive – as though we are all being punished for the crime of appreciating our wonderful library.
The end must come soon. Nice new flat, anyone?