Council consults Carshalton Mums on new library

Carshalton Mums were asked to meet with Sutton Council to help design the new children’s library at Westcroft.


Sutton Council met with Carshalton Mums this week to discuss plans for the new library at Westcroft Leisure Centre. The new library, due to open in January 2013, will have a dedicated area for younger children and comfortable seating for adults to read with their children.

“We were keen to meet with Carshalton Mums as they are the largest group representing local families in the borough,” said Cathy McDonough, Head of Libraries and Heritage for Sutton. “We were delighted with the level of feedback Carshalton Mums’ members gave us in our online consultation earlier this year.”

Five representatives for Carshalton Mums met with Cathy McDonough and her team in a meeting held at the current library in Carshalton, armed with a raft of requests from Carshalton Mums’ 570-strong group.

“We got a great response from our members when we asked them what they would like to see at the new library,” said Carshalton Mums’ founder, Kathy McGuinness. “Facilities for children at the new library is a subject very close to our hearts as all our children will benefit from a good library service.” 

“It’s important that we take the opportunity to express our views,” added Carshalton Mum Rachel Castrogiovanni. “This is our chance to get what we want for our children at the new library.”

High on the wish list for children’s facilities at the new library were: a dedicated area for younger children with a lockable gate to stop little ones running out; low-level check in/check out for children’s books; soft, comfortable seating areas and activity tables for older children. For older children, Carshalton Mums asked for E-books, downloads and a homework club/area.

“The lockable gate is a fantastic idea that we hadn’t thought of,” said Cathy McDonough. “It solves lots of problems we were having with our proposed lay-outs.”

Other ideas from Carshalton Mums were jungle animal murals and a large-scale map of the world with educational information for different countries. “We were thinking of doing a sports-related mural, but we like Carshalton Mums’ idea of a world map,” said Cathy McDonough.  

Carshalton Mum Morwenna Carrington argued:
“We think the sports theme is great if you are into sports, but not all children are. There will already be lots of sports-related things in the leisure centre so it would be nice to have something different in the library.”

Also on the agenda at the new library are downloads for ipods  and Kindles, lap-tops which become disabled when outside of the building (to prevent theft) and an area for book clubs to meet during the evening. “We are even open to the idea of you bringing wine to the book clubs,” said Cathy, in response to one Carshalton Mum’s request. 

Sutton Council promised to send Carshalton Mums pictures of the proposed lay-outs for members to vote on and asked to meet with Carshalton Mums again in June to finalise their plans for the new library.

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