Only 2 Weeks to Save the Salt Library

Posted by | July 21, 2015 | Latest News | No Comments
SAVE THE WILLIAM SALT LIBARARY

Consultation survey for William Salt Library & Archives four options

This public consultation follows on from the regular meetings of a stakeholder group to develop a ‘Vision’ for the Heritage and Archives Service, including the William Salt Library.

Nine options were discussed by stakeholders with reference to the need to improve storage conditions at Lichfield Record Office and the William Salt Library and for the service to comply with Archives Accreditation standards.  Also in the context of required budget savings.

Four options ( A, B, C, D) have been put forward for consultation.  We welcome your thoughts on the options by taking part in the consultation survey, (see below). .

As we are representing the Friends of the William Salt Library, we can say that we have only got this far because of our fight and your support.

Also bear in mind that one of the main reasons that the Heritage Lottery Fund refused the first bid put in last year, was that they stipulated that the William Salt Library building was retained as part of the new complex, and that the archive service conducted a more far reaching consultation.

The ‘Friends’ have also paid half of the cost towards a survey of the William Salt building, which was found to be in better condition that originally feared and have also offered to raise funds separately to modernize the building, which will be an asset to the planned complex.

While we welcome, and understand, the need to develop more up to date storage for our growing archives, we feel that this should not be at the loss of such building.  Our constitution states that we not only safeguard the document collection, but the building as well. 

A new (HLF) bid will be put forward and would need to comply with their original assessment.

Please read the 4 options below.  This is your chance to shape the future of our precious archives and save our William Salt Library , which is a unique heritage survival when so many such libraries have now gone.  Your views are very important.

Please note the consultation survey end on the 14th August 2015.

Click to Complete SCC Survey

Option A

Create the Staffordshire History Centre Project with external funding:

Creating an expanded programme of activity

Redeveloping current Staffordshire Record Office to store collections currently held at Lichfield Record Office and William Salt Library.  This would provide new public areas for exhibition, events and activities, volunteering and research and provide storage to put collections currently at Lichfield and William Salt Library into the correct conditions AND allows for the acquisitions of new collections for around a 20 -25 year period.

New service browsing space would be estimated to be open 37 hours per week and during at least 21 hours (ideally more) providing a search room service for archive/rare book access which would be staff run with support from volunteers.

Replace the current Lichfield Record Office with a new access point to the collections at a town centre venue in Lichfield with some of the activity programme delivered there.

Joining the current William Salt Library (WSL) building to the redeveloped Staffordshire Record Office to provide new space for exhibition, activities and volunteering. The new areas will retain a large percentage of the WSL books on open access and aims to transfer some of the atmosphere of the WSL to the new site.

The upper floors of the William Salt Library Building would be used for income generating activity to support the collection & cover running costs.

Restructuring the service’s staffing structure – including new posts to deliver community engagement, volunteering, online content etc.

Option for the delivery of the Archive and Heritage Service Vision.

This is the preferred option for the Friends of the William Salt Library, which would safeguard the future of the building and retain what is a unique library for the nation, and is in line with the (HLF) requirements.

This option would have similar costs to our 2014 bid of around £4 million part funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Option B 

Staffordshire History Centre plus museum storage/exhibition & Lottery funding

This Option is the same as Option A but includes the Museum Service as part of the Centre.

Creating an expanded programme of activity

Redeveloping current Staffordshire Record Office to store collections currently held at Lichfield Record Office and William Salt Library.  This would provide new public areas for exhibition, events and activities, volunteering and research and provide storage to put collections currently at Lichfield and William Salt Library into the correct conditions AND allows for the acquisitions of new collections for around a 20-25 year period..

New service browsing space would be estimated to be open 37 hours per week and during at least 21 hours (ideally more) providing a searchroom service for archive/rare book access which would be staff run with support from volunteers.

Replace the current Lichfield Record Office with a new access point to the collections at a town centre venue in Lichfield with some of the activity programme delivered there.

Joining the current William Salt Library (WSL) building to the redeveloped Staffordshire Record Office to provide new space for exhibition, activities and volunteering. The new areas will retain a large percentage of the WSL books on open access and aims to transfer some of the atmosphere of the WSL to the new site.

The upper floors of the William Salt Library building would be used for income generating activity to support the collection & cover running costs.

Restructuring the service’s staffing structure – including new posts to deliver community engagement, volunteering, online content etc.

This would also be a second option for the Friends of the William Salt Library

This is option would be more than £4million and would require off-site storage as well to accommodate all of the collections.  It will require more fundraising to deliver the project.

As the Museum collection is not open to public access it can be housed elsewhere.

Option C

Staffordshire Archives and Heritage – retain all sites & achieve budget savings required

In this option the service would retain all its current sites. It would replace current air conditioning at Lichfield Record Office. William Salt Library building would be retained as a collections storage site, with access via the Staffordshire Record Office (advance ordering).

Savings would be made by reducing staffing and opening times substantially across all sites.  It is likely that Staffordshire Record Office would be open around 15 hours a week and Lichfield Record Office 6 hours a week. 

A funding bid would not be made to the HLF. The current activity programme would be reduced.

This option requires no grant funding but offers no future storage, and would seriously limit the ability for the Service to continue collecting and achieve Archive Accreditation.

Option D 

Staffordshire History Centre with HLF funding on a new site

This option would develop a History Centre on an entirely new site in the county, either developing an existing building or a new-build.  It would include an engagement and activity programme with an application made for HLF funding.

This would provide new public areas for exhibition, events and activities, volunteering and research and provide storage to put collections currently at Lichfield, Stafford and William Salt Library into the correct conditions AND allows for the acquisitions of new collections for around a 20-25 year period.

New service browsing space would be estimated to be open 37 hours per week and during at least 21 hours (ideally more) providing a searchroom service for archive/rare book access which would be staff run with support from volunteers.

New access points to the collections would be created

Future uses of the William Salt Library, Lichfield Record Office and Staffordshire Record Office buildings would need to be secured before a bid for funding was made.

Difficult and lengthy search to find a town centre site and would it stay in Stafford?

Not efficient use of existing good quality storage at Stafford, which may make the building difficult to sell.

This option would be expensive.  Similar projects elsewhere in the country have cost in excess of £9 million.

How to Take Part – give your opinion based on the four options above

Online Survey:

Click to Complete SCC Survey

 

complete an online survey here|  click ‘give us your views’ box’ at the bottom of the page)

Staffordshire County Council website http://www.staffordshire.gov.uk/leisure/archives/OurVision/Archives-Consultation.aspx

Paper Survey:

If you would prefer to complete a paper survey you can pick up a copy from any Staffordshire library or record office or there is a version available to download and print here|.

Please return completed paper surveys before 14 August 2015 either by hand to one of the main district libraries or by post to:

Staffordshire Archives Consultation, Strategic Property Service, 2 Staffordshire Place, Tipping Street, Stafford, ST16 2DH.

Or attend a public ‘Drop-in Consultation Session’ schedule below |

VENUE  ADDRESS  DATE  TIMES 
 
 Tamworth Archives Roadshow  Tamworth Library, Corporation Street,  Tamworth, B79 7DN  4 July 2015  10:30am to 4pm
Perton Library   Severn Drive, Perton, Wolverhampton, WV6 7QU  6 July 015  9am to 6pm
Burton Library    Riverside, Burton upon Trent, DE14 1AH  9 July 2015  10am to 2pm
Brampton Museum  BramptonPark, Newcastle-under-Lyme, ST5 0QP  21 July 2015  1pm to 4pm
Foyer area at Potteries Museum and Art Gallery   PotteriesMuseum, Bethesda Street, Stoke-on-Trent, ST1 3DW  21 July 2015  1pm to 4pm
Cannock Chase Museum  Valley Road, Cannock, WS12 1TD 30 July 2015  12pm to 3pm
Stone Farmers Market  Market Square, High Street, Stone  1 August 2015  9am to 1pm
Leek Antique Market  Market Square, Leek ST13 6AD  11 July 2015  9am to 1pm
Lichfield  Library  Lichfield Library Foyer, The Friary, Lichfield, WS13 6QG on 17 July 10am to 2pm  17 July 2015  10am to 2pm
 Staffordshire Record Office  Eastgate Street, Stafford, ST16 2LZ  13 July  2pm to 4pm

 

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