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So what happened to our proposal to run the building if Croydon Council ran the library service within in? It hinged on the council working with us on the proposal, and sad to say they did not. From their report given to Croydon Council cabinet on May 17th, the reason they highlight is that it would not deliver the full £500k per year saving - because it wouldn't reduce staffing. So we are sorry our proposal was not successful but it won't stop us fighting for professional library staff.

"You do the books, we do the building."
- our proposal to Croydon Council

We DON'T propose a Community Library

Community-run libraries do not provide the level of service that South Norwood deserves. The council have said that the cost of running the building means that it's not value for money. So we propose that if Croydon Council commits to running a professionally-staffed library service for a minimum of 15 years, we will take over the running of the library building

In their report on the first stage of the library consultation, Croydon Council has said that Friends of South Norwood library have put themselves forward to run a community library. This is NOT true. FOSNL’s sole purpose in this proposal is to protect the professionally-run library service for South Norwood’s residents.

Read on to find out more about what we're actually suggesting.


1. Croydon Council fund and run the library service

For there to be any point in the community of South Norwood taking on running the building, Croydon Council must agree to:

1) A contractual commitment that Croydon Council run the library service out of the current South Norwood library for a minimum period of 15 years.

2) Provide a library service including:

  • Staffed opening hours of 34.5 hours per week minimum (which is what we have now)

  • A professional library worker during opening hours

  • Access to libraries management system

  • Maintaining book stock in the same way as all other Croydon public libraries

  • Providing and maintaining a self-issue machine

  • Providing and maintaining computers, printer and wifi

  • Access to London Libraries consortium

  • A senior member of Croydon Libraries team to sit on the Trustee Board

Classmates in Library

2. We take on managing the building

If Croydon Council agrees to their side of the bargain, then using a community asset transfer, FOSNL would then take over running the building. Our aim would be to create a community hub with the library at the centre of it. FOSNL are working on a business plan under which income generated from the building through private hire, hot-desk subscription and sub-leases to local businesses would fund utilities, maintenance and the salary of a venue manager.


Fundraising unavailable to the council but available to community groups would be targeted to renovate the building. If Croydon Council commits to providing a professional library service, we will take on running the building. Together we'll make it a place that will benefit everyone, not just those able to pay.

Our Proposal: Take Action
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