Entente Cordiale

Screenshot of Church Street Library twinning story on BBC Local News

Church Street Library’s innovative twinning activities (see previous posts) seem to have caught the imagination, with local press picking up the story – yesterday it featured on the BBC Local Live News!

Cllr Steve Summers, Westminster City Council’s Cabinet Member for the Community, has said in a recent press release about the project:

“The exchanging of books between the two libraries is great news for our residents as it provides a very useful resource for library users looking to improve their French language skills.
 
“Being able to communicate in another language can greatly increase your employment opportunities, so this twinning arrangement could prove invaluable in helping to improve the lives of our residents.
 
“It’s also an arrangement which will help build a greater cultural understanding between the two cities as we work with our Parisian counterparts in sharing best practice and continually work to find new and innovative ways to improve our library service.”

The project continues, with an exhibition of photographs of the library and locale of Place des Fetes opening in Church Street Library later this week.

[Julie]

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One response to “Entente Cordiale

  1. The press release in full:

    Press release from Westminster City Council
    Date: Tuesday 5 November 2013
    Central London library ‘twins’ with Parisian library

    A public library in central London has become the first library in the capital to be twinned with another library abroad.
    In a move resonant of the post-war town-twinning movement, Church Street Library in Westminster has struck an entente cordial with Parisian counterpart Place des Fetes library.
    Under the pilot scheme, the two libraries will exchange more than two hundred books and hold various cultural and language events throughout the year until next summer.
    The move means that library-users in Westminster will have access to a range of modern and classic titles by renowned French authors such as Frederic Beigbeder, Michel Houellebecq and J. M. G. Le Clezio, as well as a range of children’s books in French, such as Harry Potter et Les Reliques De La Mort – Harry Potter and the deathly hallows.’
    Cllr Steve Summers, Westminster City Council’s Cabinet Member for the Community, said:
    “The exchanging of books between the two libraries is great news for our residents as it provides a very useful resource for library users looking to improve their French language skills.
    “Being able to communicate in another language can greatly increase your employment opportunities, so this twinning arrangement could prove invaluable in helping to improve the lives of our residents.
    “It’s also an arrangement which will help build a greater cultural understanding between the two cities as we work with our Parisian counterparts in sharing best practice and continually work to find new and innovative ways to improve our library service.”
    In addition to the book exchange, Church Street library will also be arranging a modern pen pal project next month between pupils at the local King Solomon Academy and Parisian school College Budé, who use the Place des Fetes library, using social media and online blogs.
    Westminster City Council will monitor the success of the pilot twinning of Church Street and Place des Fetes libraries before considering a roll-out of the programme, with twinning potentially taking place between other libraries in Westminster and those in other European capitals.

    Ends –

    Notes
    For more information, please contact David Green in Westminster City Council’s Press Office on 020 7641 3973 or email dgreen@westminster.gov.uk

    It is believed that this is the first time a London library and one from another European capital has twinned.

    There are an estimated 400,000 French people living in London and it is hoped that the move will also attract more from this community into libraries.

    London is often reported as France’s sixth largest city due to the high number of French people living in the capital.

    Place des Fetes library is located in North East of Paris, in 20th arrondissement.

    Place des Fetes library is in an area of Paris similar to the Church Street area of Westminster, serving a diverse multi-cultural population, many of whom live nearby in local authority housing, where library staff work closely with local youth organisations.

    The Library twinning scheme comes at no additional cost to council taxpayers. Staff at the library have gone the extra mile in arranging the transfer of books in their own time and at their own expense.

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