Tagged: Central Library

Hartlepool library services under threat amid fresh cuts

The future of library services could be under threat as the service faces severe funding cuts.

The Government has cut Hartlepool Borough Council’s main revenue grant by £30m in recent years and since 2013 the Library Service budget has had to be reduced by almost 16 per cent.

Despite this savings have been achieved without any direct impact on library opening hours or the branch library network.

But the Library Service now has to find further savings from 2016, and these cannot be achieved without reviewing the whole service, including front-line operations.

 Over the next three months the Library Service is consulting with users, staff, and other interested parties for views on ways of delivering services differently to make savings and also improvements.

Hartlepool has five libraries – the main Central Library in York Road plus the four smaller part-time branch libraries: Headland, Owton Manor, Throston Grange and Seaton Carew.

Among the aspects being looked at in the review are opening hours, whether the branch libraries are still in the best locations to serve the needs of communities, potential for volunteers and external organisations to play an increased role, possible further development of the libraries’ online services and the potential for the libraries to generate additional income.

David Worthington, Hartlepool Borough Council’s head of culture and information, said:

“Hartlepool has an excellent library service and we want to continue to maintain that, but in the light of the massive financial pressures which the council continues to face, we need to find even better, more cost-effective ways of working.

“At the same time, we also need to make sure that our libraries remain in the best position to meet people’s future needs and their changing requirements.

“We’re keen to hear people’s thoughts on some possible ways forward and we would also welcome other suggestions, so I very much hope as many people as possible will take part in the consultation.”

People can find out more and give their views by completing a Library Review Survey online HERE.

Consultation drop-in sessions will be held at all the libraries:

• Central Library, York Road Wednesday, March 25 from 10am-noon and Saturday, March 28 from 10am-noon:

• Owton Manor Library, Wynyard Road, Thursday, March 26 from 3pm-6pm;

• Headland Library, Middlegate Friday, March 27 from 3pm-6pm;

• Seaton Carew Library, Station Lane Tuesday, March 31 from 3pm-6pm;

• Throston Grange Library, Glamorgan Grove Wednesday, April 1 from 3pm-6pm.

People can also send written comments to: The Library Review, Hartlepool Central Library, 124 York Road, Hartlepool, TS26 9DE or email infodesk@hartlepool.gov.uk

The closing date is Saturday, May 23.

Source – Hartlepool Mail, 25 Feb 2015

Trio of diverse new films from South Tyneside

A trio of diverse new films from South Tyneside documentary-maker Gary Wilkinson will shed light on different aspects of the borough’s past.

Prolific Mr Wilkinson has built up an impressive portfolio of filmic works in recent years.

And he shows no sign of slowing down, with his latest projects to be screened at the Central Library in South Shields later this month.

The first film, The King, The Queen And The Punk will be shown at the library’s Wednesday Heritage Club on March 19, from 7pm.

It recalls three key events in South Shields during the 1970s – the visits of HRH Queen Elizabeth and boxing legend ‘The King’ Muhammad Ali and the formation of the punk band, the Angelic Upstarts. Narrated by South Shields poet Alistair Robinson, the film includes footage showing the opening of the Central Library in South Shields by local writer James Mitchell in 1976.

On the same evening, Designs For Life – about tattooing and tattooing practices in South Tyneside – will be shown.

“Now considered by many to be an art form, tattooing is much more visible than it once was. It isn’t possible to go into a shop, take a bus or Metro, and not see patterns inked on skin,” the documentary maker said.

Finally, on Wednesday March 26, at the usual 2pm time for Wednesday Heritage Club, Gary’s film Wildflower will be shown.

A labour of love for the filmmaker, it chronicles the life of Eileen O’Shaughnessy – the South Shields-born wife of writer George Orwell.

Creating the film has involved a great deal of research and has taken Mr Wilkinson around the world, including New York. He first came across Eileen when there was a display about her life in the reference and local history library, and he realised that he wanted to find out more about her and document her life in a film.

He said: “I wanted to show how much she influenced George Orwell, arguably the most controversial and important writer of the 20th century.”

The film is narrated by local poet and dramatist Tom Kelly, who will introduce the event. It is also hoped that members of the Orwell Society will also be attending.

Mr Wilkinson added: “Eileen O’Shaughnessy is one of history’s forgotten people, but is an unsung heroine of the 20th century and certainly, many local people will be surprised to discover that her origins lie here in South Shields.”

Tickets for all the events in the Library Theatre cost £1 each. For further information, or to reserve a ticket, contact the Reference Department on 424 7864.

Source – Shields Gazette, 12 March 2014