NewSPAL is a Charity (no. 1176729) formed to take over operation of the Surrey Performing Arts Library with the objective of promotion, improvement, development and maintenance of public education in, and appreciation of, the art and science of music, drama and other performing arts through provision of a lending library of musical, dramatic and other performing arts material and literature.
The Surrey Performing Arts Library is an award winning library for the performing arts – one of the three largest in England – currently run as part of Surrey County Council (SCC) Libraries.
It is used by hundreds of music and drama groups in Surrey and beyond, to hire multiple copies of plays and scores, and by individuals to borrow specialist books, music and other resources.
In the face of severe Budget challenges, SCC propose to move the collection in April, splitting it over two or more libraries, and leaving it without specialist staff, to save money.
If that goes ahead, we believe this will quickly lead to the deterioration of the material and ultimately the loss of this great resource.
NewSPAL is a newly formed charity overseen by users for users, offering to take over the running of the performing arts library from SCC to safeguard it for the future.
But it needs your help to get going!
NewSPAL needs to prove to SCC that it has the support of users and that it can raise
pledges of £84,000 and of volunteer time for the transition from SCC to NewSPAL.
To get the mandate from SCC at their Cabinet meeting on 27 March, we need pledges of support, money and volunteer time for the transition by 15 March 2018.
If we don’t get the mandate at that meeting, we must work towards raising the necessary funding, finding premises and getting support and volunteer backing as soon as possible - desirably by July 2018, with a view to taking on the library as soon as possible after that.
Update 15 March: SCC has now indicated that SPAL will be considered at the Cabinet meeting on Tuesday 24 April, rather than in March.
However, we were still required to submit an update of our proposals by 15 March, which we did.
At that stage we had received pledges of around £60,000 - some 70% or our initial target of £84,000.
So a big thank you to all of you who have voiced your support for our proposals and for your amazing generosity!
BUT we still have a long way to go - and we still need pleges of support from as many individual users as possible. We need to be able to show SCC that we have the overwhelming support of users -- by 15 April, ahead of the 24 April Cabinet meeting.
So please ask every individual user of SPAL that you know -- and every individual member of your performing arts groups -- to pledge support at http://support-us.newspal.org.uk.
If you value the thriving performing arts in Surrey and beyond...