Twitter Takeover : Wednesday : Andrew O Brien : Library Service Manager

Andrew O Brien, Library Services Manager, Lambeth

Andrew O Brien, Library Services Manager, Lambeth, London

I’m a Library Service Manager, formerly known as a Librarian until our most recent restructure a couple of years ago, and I’ve worked for the London Borough of Lambeth for nine years, working my way up from an assistant and gaining experience in lending services, reference and information services, archives and local history, early years literacy development, outreach and community partnership work.

I currently work in our flagship new library in Clapham. Lambeth, which is the fifth most deprived borough in London, currently provides a public library service from nine libraries throughout the borough and serves a population of over 300,000 residents and a large number of people from neighbouring boroughs and all over London and the South-East. The library service also provides an Early Years service, home visits for elderly and disabled residents and a prison library at Brixton.

In addition to book lending we offer free computer access, WiFi and study space in an area where over a third of families have no computer or internet access at home, where children are growing up in real poverty often living in overcrowded and unsatisfactory housing.

But public libraries are not just for the underprivileged. They are a truly universal service, opening their doors to all no matter what their standing in life is, what level or standard of education they posses. We offer Story and Rhyme Times for under 5s, a range of adult and YA reading groups, IT training, literacy development, and author events. We also offer space for hire to community groups and businesses for meetings, conferences and other functions.

I wanted to join the Free Library Voices Twitter because it’s a great opportunity to highlight the work we do, the services we offer, the value we add to society and the challenges we face in the current economic climate.

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