As I mentioned yesterday, I went to visit Pear Tree Library on Monday. You can see photos of the interior and exterior.
After having a long chat with the council officers there on the day that I visited Pear Tree Library, there are a number of things we should be aware of:
The damage is not as bad as has been represented. I was expecting it to be really bad, but it didn't look it, and this was confirmed in the discussion I had with them. I asked for the asbestos maintenance plan, and I should have that by e-mail in the next few days.
If the council really wanted to get rid of the building for quick money, they would have just auctioned it off. What this means is that (at the officer level) there is a will to see non-commercial, community-driven proposals for use of the building.
What they are NOT interested in is moving the library service back into that building. We have already lost that fight, and the councillors (yes, the people on the political level) allowed this to happen.
So — as I said in my quick notes from Sunday, we need to figure out what we'd like the building to be, and represent. I have done some thinking on this already.
I phoned Sonya from Mandela Centre yesterday: she is organising a meeting at the centre for this Saturday, 5.30p.m. I'll bring what I've been working on to the meeting, and hope to contribute to a shared plan.