Palmer Park Library Partnership celebrated at upcoming launch

Scott Reilly from the College and Cllr Sarah Hacker launch the partnership

THE PARTNERSHIP between Reading Library Service and Reading College officially launches 11 October, in a celebratory event at Palmer Park Library.

The Palmer Park Library partnership is an innovative new way of delivering the service at Palmer Park. It offers work-based opportunities to support young people with learning difficulties and will help to strengthen the links between the College and local community.

An official launch will take place on 11 October from 11.00am at Palmer Park Library to formally celebrate the creative partnership, which has been in place since April 2017 and will initially run for a period of 15 months.

RBC and Reading College Partnership

Councillor Sarah Hacker, Reading Borough Council’s Lead Member for Culture, Sport and Consumer Services, said:

“It’s great that we have been able to protect library services in the face of unprecedented government cuts with the implementation of this new partnership with Reading College. The partnership offers some new invaluable work-based opportunities for young people in the town, and is a real benefit to our local community.”

Michelle Parks, Director of Lifeskills Faculty said:

“At the very heart of our SEN Supported Foundation programmes is vocational learning. Innovative partnerships like the one with the library are vital for students to learn real skills in a real life context. We were delighted to be able to partner with the library services team to keep Palmer Park library open as we recognise how valuable the library is for our local community. This project is just one of our supported internship schemes and we are always looking to develop more with local employers.”

During term time, Reading College provide a tutor to support students to deliver the library service. The Council also employ a member of staff throughout the year to work along-side the tutor, supporting the students on placement and to ensure the smooth running of the library.

Staff at Palmer Park Library including volunteers from Reading College

Ends

Notes to Editors

The review of library services is just one of many areas where the Council has had to identify savings in the face of severe and unprecedented Government cuts in funding and increased demands on Council services. In July 2016, Policy Committee endorsed a new library service offer to deliver a £290,000 saving and to modernise the service.  Changes included new ways of working in partnership, reduced opening times reflecting customer preference and usage patterns; better use of buildings and co-locating services; making the best use of technology and saving money through re-negotiating with stockists.

Customers can now access a new catalogue website, designed with enhanced functions and a modern, user-friendly look and feel. New self-service kiosks have been introduced across all Reading libraries; offering a quick and efficient way of issuing, returning and paying for items.

Since the beginning of April, there have been new opening times across all libraries. To view the revised times, visit here: www.reading.gov.uk/librarybranches

In Spring 2018, Whitley library will relocate to a new home at South Reading Youth and Community Centre and in Summer 2018 Southcote library will relocate to a new home at Southcote Community Centre.

The full report to Policy can be viewed here:

http://www.reading.gov.uk/media/5707/Item10/pdf/Item10.pdf