Park cafe news

Lunch time for a squirrel

The Friends had a great meeting today with the council staff (Fiona Williams, Alistair Gourlay and Andy Laslett), who are involved in developing the park cafe, as a ‘reading cafe’ – an extension of the ‘Explore’ library concept. The new cafe will have books, newspapers, internet and WiFi, as well as good coffee and tasty food, and act as a venue for a variety of activities and events. This squirrel may be still checking the bins for food, but us humans can look forward to something nicer!

Last summer, the Friends sent a document with lots of our ideas and suggestions for how the cafe could look and what could happen in the cafe, and we were really happy to see many of these ideas will be put into place. The cafe may be re-furbished and back in action by the summer holidays, although this depends on the results of the tendering process. The council have prepared a document which outlines their plans, and the Friends will be discussing this subject at the next Friends’ meeting (April 25th, 7.30pm at Southlands Methodist Church). All are welcome to attend and give any feedback.

The reading cafe will have a relatively small number of books (2000 – apparently that’s ‘not much’), and the library staff would love for local people to send in their suggestions – so what’s your favourite book or favourite author? We’re keen to get children’s views too so, parents and carers, do let us know which books/authors are the business at the moment, by replying to this post or posting on our Facebook page.

7 thoughts on “Park cafe news

  1. You could have a book recycling shelf – bring in a book you’ve finished with & take one away if you wish? Needs a bit of relaxed ‘supervision’?

    Can’t wait – always felt the café was a much missed opportunity.

  2. cathmortimer says:

    Nice idea; would need someone to keep an eye on it, so that if it became full of un-loved books at any point, someone could take them to a charity shop, maybe? We’ll suggest it, thanks

    1. Good idea re charity shop for ‘dead’ copies 🙂

  3. cathmortimer says:

    We also hope that there might be some book/reading/learning opportunities, some of which might be voluntary; I just saw this
    which might be a good source of volunteers?

  4. I think having a mini-library is a great idea and the book swap sounds great! However I am worried in terms of the cafe in that it has the opportunity to have a prime location and I just hope as much effort is put into that aspect too. Book ideas for kids – dear zoo, gruffalo, mr men – all the classic books and all those by Julia Donaldson! Storytelling is always a great idea, plus book clubs for the adults! I really hope the cafe becomes a community hub which it has the opportunity to do x

    1. cathmortimer says:

      Local, organic, quality food (and good coffee) were on our original ‘wish list’ to the council. The council staff we spoke to approved of all of that (as you can see in the document that they gave us). Plus they all know the area well (and a certain cafe on Bishy Road, to which all cafe provision in the South Bank area is naturally compared), so they know the potential clientele locally. The Friends will continue to engage with the council, during development and when the cafe’s up and running.

  5. Giles Jeffs says:

    My favourite author is Mike Pannet , writer of crime books. If you have not heard of him, he is from York, served as a policeman in North Yorkshire as well as ‘the Met’ and his books are a great read, best served with a nice cup of Yorkshire Tea. If you haven’t sent him an invite, could I put in a request that you do as he wanted to launch his new book ‘Up Beat and Down Dale’ this week at the cancelled Great Yorkshire Show. I personally have not been to one of his talks, but I am sure it would be a good evening for him to be there – just make sure there’s plenty of tea on offer!!!

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