Haringey library staff could soon be wearing “Butlins-style” uniform

New proposals for Haringey librarians to start wearing a uniform have come under fire, before the designs or budget have even been put in place.

Anyone who works on a Haringey help desk could potentially be forced to wear a uniform, touted as part of plans to improve libraries and customer service.

Staff have been sent images of a short-sleeved bright red T-shirt as part of the consultation.

On the right breast is the new Haringey logo and on the back of the T-shirt are the words: “How can I help you?”

Haringey Council has said that these are just mocked-up images and that they are still consulting staff on design, colours and whether they even want a uniform.


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Highgate councillor Clive Carter is confident that the ideas will prove unpopular with staff and the public.

Comparing the uniform to that worn at a holiday camp, he described it as an “unnecessary expense.”

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“I’ve spoken with librarians who are aghast at the new proposals,” he said.

“It’s verging on an insult. People won’t want to work for Haringey Council.”

As part of the consultation, staff at the Marcus Garvey in Tottenham and Wood Green Library have been sent e-mails asking them if they want to be a visible part of the Haringey brand.

“We would like to introduce a uniform to ensure that staff are easily identifiable for our customers, we look professional and like one team, and we tie into our new corporate branding,” the e-mails said.

“We know there are lots of people in the service who will welcome this, and probably an equal number who don’t!

“So we want your views... for example, what colours should we wear, which items of clothing do we want included, and how do we feel about a partial uniform and dress code?”

At the moment, there are no uniforms for library or customer service staff.

Some Haringey officers are expected to wear branded high-vis jackets or sweatshirts, for example if street sweeping.

For Haringey Council’s recent £86,000 re-branding exercise, it was decided that staff would receive uniforms with the new logo when their old uniforms are worn out.

What do you think of plans to introduce a new uniform? Get in touch: letters@hamhigh.co.uk.

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