As Pat has already mentioned we visited the AM Learning Centre and discovered a run down public library on the site. With security guards and a security office to check in to, we were amazed to find a beautiful Learning Centre tucked away in the centre (complete with security system and buzzer access only).
The Library, upstairs with no street appeal or connection, at first appeared sad and run down but like all passionate librarians, the team had developed a fantastic after school homework club. Closed during the day, the area was adorned with huge posters displaying all manner of things, lovingly created by the ‘supervisor’ in the old fashioned way. There were eight computers courtesy of the ‘peoples network’, and we were told up to 80 children can visit the club on a single day. With high levels of deprivation, the community value the access to computers and homework help greatly and turn up in droves to use the place. There were many similarities with the customers visiting New Brighton Library and I detected similar coping strategies and sense of humour with Sue the ‘supervisor’. Interestingly, she was a teacher support person at the high school in the centre and moved in to the homework role in a sideways move. She has no library qualification but many skills to help the children.
I think Pat would agree that the homework club was a little gem in a tough neighbourhood and the librarians were very welcoming and enthusiastic.