Friends of Tooting Library to be established

Your Local Guardian: Friends of Tooting Library group to be established Friends of Tooting Library group to be established

A Friends of Tooting Library group is about to be established, with plans to roll the idea out across the borough if it is a success.

Wandsworth Council has agreed for a Friends of Tooting Library pilot group to be created, to work alongside exsisting staff.

A council spokesman assured residents that there are no plans to replace professional librarians with the volunteers. Surrey has been trying to do this in a bid to save cash, sparking a huge backlash from residents, which has culminated in a judicial review this week.

It will be formed of residents, stakeholders, current library members and people recommended by an existing friends member.

The group will have the task of supporting the maintenance and development of the library.

It is aimed at encouraging community involvement and ensures to meet the needs of local people.

The founding pilot group will be established out of the Tooting Library Management Advisory Committee into the Friends of Tooting Library.

Councillor Jonathan Cook, Wandsworth's culture spokesman, said: "This plan will enable residents to help shape Tooting Library's future by allowing them to play a part in its maintenance and development.

"It is designed to allow the community to take a more hands on role in the library that they use, that they are passionate about, and that they want to see thrive."

The library features a learning suite, teenage area and self service machines.

About 39 volunteers have worked at the library since April 2010, helping people with reading, IT, literacy and using the service.

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