Skills Rethink director Shagufta Nasreen is delighted libraries are opening longer


- Credit: Archant

Our residents in Newham are enjoying a trickle of good news about the extended opening hours of libraries!

Most will stay open till 8pm from November 9. It is just a fantastic news for many parents and residents. This news has come at a time of budget cuts and financial difficulties, as our council is suffering the worst budget cuts of its history thrust upon it from central government. In Newham we live in a multicultural and diverse society, many children go to evening school or for tuition classes and sports clubs, hence they miss out on regular visits to their library, due to the short opening times, during the weekdays.

Thankfully now they will have time to go and borrow or exchange books and DVDs after their evening classes.

We parents know how important a library visit is for our children and how positively it impacts on their studies. I have worked for many years to run projects in partnership with the Gate library and also, once with the Green Street library, to deliver much-needed ESOL classes and arts clubs, including read a page club.

All those activities really helped the local community to improve their English language and reading skills. Children just loved their art masterpieces!

Libraries are a much appreciated recourse for us and they work as community hubs. Hence I believe that the recent figures that show a five per cent rise in customers in our libraries is a good trend and it signals that our community really values its local services.

The extended opening hours will also enable working people to enjoy a quiet read when they are back from work in the evening without a rush. After recent refurbishments our libraries look very modern, fully equipped and carry a relaxing environment.

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I hope community groups like ours are able to book a room to have activities to promote community learning and enjoyment in a peaceful environment.

There are many other activities to suite every age from music DVDs to screenings of selected films and arts festivals, occasionally. More from Shagufta