The Wandsworth Library Service
16mm film Black & White Sound c.1966 35:14
Summary: An instructional guide to the services offered by Wandsworth Library Service.
Title number: 840
LSA ID: LSA/1116
Description: A fictional family, the Blakes, are used to demonstrate the wide range of facilities and operations of the Borough's Libraries. The first member of the family to use the libraries is 10 year old schoolgirl Jill. She attends a school visit to Alvering Library on Allfarthing Lane with her class and teacher, arranged by the children's librarian with Allfarthing Primary School. At Alvering library, the librarian shows pupils the junior library and explains about the care of books, the library rules, how to use catalogue and about the library club and the storytelling that takes place in the story hour session. The pupils browse the junior section before being led to the reference section they can use for their schoolwork. The film then switches to follow Jill's brother John, a student at a technical college who has been recommended to visit West Hill district library by a tutor. At West Hill, John speaks to librarian about the books he needs for his college course, searches for those books, makes a book request for one which is unavailable and looks at a notice board about library events. After he has left, the librarian checks John's book request in a bibliography. Jill tells her parents about her library experience and the whole family make a visit to Alvering Library. Jill hands in a library application form, while Mr and Mrs Blake explore the library before filling in their own application forms to join. Mr Blake looks at gardening, motoring and travel books, while Mrs Blake looks at cookery books and novels and large print books that might be suitable for her own mother. All the family borrow books. The next day, an assistant at Wandsworth Library Service's central cataloguing department deals with John's book request, she checks the book title in the borough's union catalogue and locates a copy. Mr Blake receives a tricky letter at work and asks his colleague Keith Jones for assistance. Mr Jones suggests that he telephones Battersea reference library to get information on a German company mentioned in the letter. An assistant in the reference library takes Mr Blake's call and helps him to find the information he needs using European telephone and trade directories. Meanwhile, a library van arrives at Balham library where the book John requested is found on shelf and put on van to go to West Hill. On Saturday Keith Jones visits the gramophone library at Balham Public Library and returns some classical records, before going on to choose some more. He takes out a recording of Dvorak music and a score of the same piece. The Blake family go to visit Mrs Blake's mother at the weekend. On the way they see the mobile library stopped on Westleigh Avenue, and decide to check it out. They go on to visit Mrs Blake's mother, Mrs Davis, where they take tea and show her a leaflet on the housebound reader services and a large print book they have borrowed on her behalf. Keith Jones sits at home and puts on his borrowed record. On Sunday the Blake family are in their garden, Jill reads a library book in a deck chair, while Mr Blake and John look over garden and make plans with the help of a library book on gardening. Mrs Blake calls them all in for lunch and produces new meal she has cooked using a recipe from a Marguerite Patten book she has borrowed. In the following week, the librarian in charge of housebound reader service arranges a visit to Mrs Davis. He visits her with a selection of books she may be interested in, interviews her to ensure she really needs the service, and completes a form on her requirements. John Blake, alerted by a postcard, picks up his book request at West Hill and borrows it. The film ends at home the same evening, where most of the Blake family sit around the TV to watch an episode of the BBC's The Great War' series, Jill meanwhile reads in bed. Along the way the film also briefly takes in views of a modern library at Roehampton , the Winstanley library for children, the prison library at HMP Wandsworth, Wandsworth Technical College, the Froebel Institute College of Education at Grove House and the Garnett College of Education at Downshire House.
Credits: Script: Derrick Bond; Production Supervisor: Harold King; Camera: Malcolm O'Rosco; Continuity: Rosina Perry; Lighting: Dennis Wilford
Cast: Jill Blake: Ruth Crispin; Teacher: Mrs. C.M. Goody; Mrs. Davis: Mrs. M. Aldon
Locations: United Kingdom; England; London; Wandsworth; Balham
JD wrote on April 22, 2021:I have never seen this film that I was part of until April 2021 some 55 years after taking part!…I have never seen this film that I was part of until April 2021 some 55 years after taking part! It was tremendously exciting for us children at the time and I have never forgotten the experience.