Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the council not running the library anymore?

Following a 2015 review of library services, Southampton City Council’s Cabinet voted to secure the future of five of its community libraries by seeking new operators. Community and charitable groups were invited to make expressions of interest to the council and put forward proposals to take the libraries forward.

Why did SCA Group and Unexpected Places decide to take on the running of the library?

SCA Group (Social Care in Action) will be working with Unexpected Places to continue to provide a library service from Cobbett Road Library. SCA will be the lead organisation and the accountable body. They have stated that they will also be working with the Friends of Cobbett Road Library in an advisory and supportive way. SCA has a 25 year track record of delivering contracts and services for groups in the community.

SCA has experience of providing services to the community around Southampton, Portsmouth, Bournemouth and Hampshire including dental services and transport, they also operate a community venue in the New Forest.

Unexpected Places is an organisation that deliver not-for-profit arts and cultural services for the general public with a focus on the South of England, and Hampshire in particular. This includes making and touring performances, leading educational workshops and running a youth theatre called Acting UP.

We are very keen to invite other organisations to get involved in Cobbett Road Library either basing themselves in the building or providing services from it. SCA and Unexpected Places have stated that their objectives are to ensure the library stays open and they believe the can build a community hub where people can meet on a range of issues, get advice and support, interact with others using a range of creative ways to engage, have a coffee and a chat with others reducing isolation, and feel that they belong in their communities.

Will I still be able to take books out as usual from the library?

The books will still remain part of the whole city wide collection with many of the library systems remaining the same. People will still be able to reserve and renew books in all the libraries and access similar services across all of the sites. Free internet access will remain in all libraries and customers need not change their library card to use their local library.

Are the opening hours changing?

The library will open for 26 hours per week and will continue to provide access to the public computers, books and other resources and activities.

We will be open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10am-1pm and then again from 2pm – 5pm. We will be open on Saturdays from 10am – 1pm.

Are the groups that already use the library still going to continue?

We hope that all groups that currently use the meeting rooms at the library feel able to continue doing so. We encourage all groups to get in touch with us by emailing events@cobbetthub.co.uk.

What new activities do you have planned for the library?

We already have plans to introduce some children’s and adult drama classes in the library rooms from September 2016. We also have plans for ‘Cobbett Club’ for 6-14 year olds to get involved with the library.

Other activities involve book clubs, play reading group, story time and music time. Further details are available on our website: http://www.cobbetthub.co.uk

Who do I contact if I want to hire a room?

You can email us on cobbetthub@gmail.com.

How much does it cost to hire a room?

All of our hire charges depend on the type of activity and the company that wish to use our space – please email us for an exact quote. Details of booking rates are also available on our website www.cobbetthub.co.uk.

How do I get involved with the hub and library?

We are always on the look out for volunteers. We would love to hear from anyone that would like to become involved with the hub and library. Please contact us at cobbetthub@gmail.com.