Printed Date: 09/04/2020

GLL-Operated Library The Busiest In London

Less than two years after taking on the contract to manage libraries within the Royal Borough of Greenwich, charitable Social Enterprise GLL is celebrating the fact that Woolwich is home to the most visited library in the Capital, according to the latest statistics from the Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy (CIPFA).

Woolwich library recorded nearly 900,000 visits during the 2012-13 period, a 56% increase on the previous year and more than any other London library, while stock issues (the number of books lent) were up by 5%.  On the busiest days over 3,000 customers pass through its doors making Woolwich one of the most popular lending libraries in the UK.

GLL attributes the growing popularity of the library to the commitment of staff and the diverse facilities and services on offer, all housed within attractive modern buildings.  In addition to lending books, music and films the library also has 80 PCs and a large I-Pad table.  A learning suite enables customers to develop their IT skills and undertake accredited courses; helping to combat the digital divide.

A packed programme of daytime activities has been supplemented by a series of innovative evening events. These have ranged from a presentation about Arctic Exploration from a consultant on David Attenborough's 'Frozen Planet', to nearly 200 people attending an event featuring London author Sebastian Faulks being interviewed by Mariella Frostrup.   The CIPFA figures are all the more impressive because they show that the GLL-operated libraries within the Royal Borough of Greenwich are also the most economically run of the 30 London boroughs surveyed.  Demonstrating the impact that pioneering working practices and staff commitment can have.

Diana Edmonds, Head of Library Services at GLL said: “The popularity and growth experienced at Woolwich underlines the crucial role that libraries play within today’s society.

“Woolwich library offers an excellent core library service, great stock and good ICT. But more than that it is a vibrant community hub that caters for all ages and all sectors of society.  Whether it is someone wishing to use a computer and complete an online job application, a customer who wants to borrow the latest DVDs or parents and children coming to socialise and enjoy our Baby Rhyme Time sessions.”

Find out more about GLL's library services here.