From The Bookseller:
The majority of library services are actively considering taking part in a “warm bank” scheme according to a recent survey carried out by charity Libraries Connected. However, only 4% expect to receive any extra funding.
A snapshot survey of more than 50 library leaders showed 59% intend to take part in such a scheme – which allow visitors to use the facility to keep warm – while 88% plan to signpost vulnerable users to charities and other council departments and 76% plan to offer advice and information on reducing household bills, saving energy and tackling debt.
The results are presented in the charity’s new briefing note Supporting the Vulnerable This Winter, which also revealed 61% of services plan to provide additional activities such as games and crafts to keep people amused for long periods of time, while 43% plan to serve hot drinks and 39% plan to install extra desks and comfortable chairs for those using libraries to keep warm.
. . . .
“Libraries are warm, free and accessible spaces, located in our town centres, high streets and villages. As such they are ideally placed to help those most affected by the cost-of-living crisis this winter, whether that’s with a cuppa, a good book and a comfy chair or specialist debt advice.
“A relatively small investment across the library network could have a huge impact, allowing libraries to use their local knowledge and connections to provide targeted support at this critical time.”
Link to the rest at The Bookseller
PG did a little extra research on warm banks and discovered that some UK art galleries are also expected to participate.
PG is not an expert on how this is likely to evolve in the UK, but in the US, especially in larger cities, warm banks could end up being filled with homeless people who, unfortunately, may bring other problems.
For the record, PG is in favor of programs to keep the homeless warm and fed during cold winter months (and at other times), but some of the libraries’ and galleries’ regular clientele might be a bit concerned, especially if they have children with them.
But PG could be entirely wrong.