The Library's future is at risk
News Update - 26 February 2018
How to support a solution - take the Making Music NewSPAL survey
On 8 February 2018 the Surrey County Council (SCC) Communities Select Committee adopted some recommendations for the future of SPAL which will now be put – alongside recommendations from the council officers – to the full SCC Cabinet on 27 March 2018.
Since the previous meeting in November 2017, representatives of FOSPAL, Making Music and IAML (International Association of Music Librarians) along with four representatives of user groups have formed a new charity (NewSPAL) in a bid to take over the running of SPAL.
On 8 February, councillors expressed a lot of sympathy for this bid, but fell short of recommending it outright as the preferred option because NewSPAL was asking them to finance the transition to the new charity and councillors felt unable to promise any money for SPAL whatsoever after 1 April 2018.
So in order to get what the FOSPAL committee believes would be the right decision at the SCC Cabinet meeting on 27 March (namely one recommending NewSPAL as the best option for the future of SPAL), NewSPAL is now launching an urgent campaign to ask users and potential users for their support by way of pledges – of practical help, funds, ideas, volunteer time - to implement a move to a new building and to the new charity.
NewSPAL needs some evidence by 15 March so that it will be able to demonstrate to Cabinet that its proposed solution is both supported by users and that its plans are feasible, represent no risk to the collection and will offer at least as good a service as the fall-back option SCC themselves are proposing (and which FOSPAL, Making Music and IAML, as well as many users, think will be wholly inadequate).
Making Music has sent out an update similar to this which is going out far beyond the borders of Surrey because SPAL is of importance to groups all over the UK – and NewSPAL will only be able to be financially sustainable, its trustees believe, if its model includes hiring to non-Surrey groups too.
If there is no credible case for NewSPAL by the time of the Cabinet meeting, the risk is that SCC will implement its default option from April which will involve moving the collection, splitting drama and music into two libraries, and having no dedicated or specialist staff.
NOW IS THE TIME TO SHOW YOUR SUPPORT AND GET MORE INVOLVED
Please register your interest and any support you can pledge through the NewSPAL survey, ideally by 15 March, [here].
We hope to provide this information to as many members of the public attending music events and plays in Surrey venues over the next few weeks as we can. If you are involved in any such event and would be prepared to distribute a leaflet to your audience members, please let Paul Mackay know at email@example.com with the name of the organisation, the date(s) and venue of the event and a contact at the group organising it.
Making Music NewSPAL survey [here]
Making Music, FOSPAL & Inter. Assn. of Music Libraries report to Surrey County Council.
You can find the latest FOSPAL newsletter here
Surrey Performing Arts Library