Primrose Hill Community Library Update

After the unexpected floor renovation at the Primrose Hill Community Library, we are pleased to report that things are better than ever! We currently have 2,900+ members between the ages of 0 to 100, with an average growth rate of over 40 new members per month. Many of these are locals, but people from surrounding areas and even a frequent visitor from Australia are filling out membership forms. Our members are active, as indicated by our rolling footfall count, which records an average of 75,000 visits and around 8,000 book issues per year.

Crucially, 30 per cent of our members are aged 0-11, compared to 20 per cent over Camden libraries as a whole; and 17 per cent of our members are over 61, compared to 10 per cent in Camden overall. We are fulfilling a need among the older community and the young for a friendly, local library service open to all. Our lowest populated age bracket is those aged 12-20, with just 175 members; this is a trend that is reflected nationally, and we are looking at ways to encourage more engagement with this group.

While firmly committed to continuing the library service which locals have enjoyed since 1961, we are delighted to say that we also run a variety of activities outside opening hours, which are proving popular too. Our monthly film club is regularly sold out, and our author talks with local writers of national and international standing have become firmly established within the community. Our chess club is becoming such a popular way to spend a Wednesday evening that we are considering running a second session on Saturdays. Our Open Mic on the third Tuesday of every month brings in musicians from all kinds of disciplines (from flute and piano to folk singing and rock and roll). We are still sorting out a couple of dates, but we should soon be announcing a series of chamber music concerts and solo piano recitals for the coming months.

Facts and figures, although necessary and useful, are dry. Lists of events can be overwhelming, so I shall end on what is perhaps the most encouraging sign. During the extended closure time, I was touched by the sheer number of people who stopped me in the street, anxiously looking forward to the day we reopened. We were truly missed. Now we have a lovely new floor, and we have not lost any of the regular faces who visit us every week.

To those who have supported us throughout, to those who are fast becoming new regulars, and to those who have only just become part of our library, I would like to offer our sincere thanks. It’s a pleasure to be at your service.

Article By Rob Edgar

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