How our libraries provide a hub for local communities

Image of colleague from Sutton Libraries

Published Thursday, 4th March 2021

Our libraries offer free access to more than 200,000 print and digital books - but they're about so much more than that.

From author talks to zen drawing, chess club to crafts, our libraries offer many opportunities to meet people and learn new skills.

For Marco, an Operations Assistant, our libraries are a safe haven and help to connect people of all ages through activities such as Rhyme Time, Inclusive Music, Reading Groups, Knitter Natter and Gentle Exercise. “Libraries do not discriminate and welcome all members of the community,” says Marco.

Penny is one of many people who have used the libraries as a community hub. Penny is a specialist practitioner for hearing impaired children in Sutton, and established The Dreaming Tree Project in August 2017 to deliver support services to Sutton's Deaf Community and raise deaf awareness.

“Libraries are a very important hub of our community,” says Penny. “I run a deaf over 60s tea club once a fortnight at Wallington Library, which is currently on hold due to the pandemic.”

“In Wallington we've been welcomed with open arms. I have also been collecting life stories of deaf people in our community to share with the Heritage team for people to learn from.”

Pink, who manages Worcester Park and Cheam libraries, agrees that libraries play a key role in the community. “I have always believed that public libraries should be safe spaces, accessible to people of all different backgrounds and generations, and I definitely believe that Sutton Libraries accomplish that.”

Over the next 12 months, Marco is looking forward to “continuing to serve our community and adapting to changes while always keeping my colleagues and members of the public safe.”

Our Libraries Team has worked hard to continue supporting the community during the pandemic. Find out how we plan to protect those needing our care and support Sutton’s recovery over the next 12 months.

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