MASS LIBRARY RALLY IN BRIXTON THIS SATURDAY “Our libraries are, quite simply, being stolen” – FOLL
MORE THAN 5,000 SIGN ONLINE PETITION OVER LAMBETH’S CONTROVERSIAL PLANS
– “A BOOKSHELF IN A GYM IS NOT A LIBRARY”
A MASS RALLY – described as the last chance to try and change Lambeth Labour councilors minds on their hugely controversial plans for the borough’s libraries – starts at 10.30 on Saturday morning at Windrush Square, Brixton.
A statement from Friends of Lambeth Libraries (FOLL) says: “DON’T STEAL OUR LIBRARIES!
“This is the message from the people of Lambeth to the council – which plans to wreck five of its 10 libraries.
“All were donated to the borough’s care to provide a service that is needed more than ever today. “They belong to the people of Lambeth. “They are, quite simply, being stolen.
“A viable plan exists to keep all 10 libraries running – which would COST LESS than destroying them, as the council plans.
“Unless the council accepts this alternative plan…
“MARCH 5 is just four weeks from the date when five libraries are due to CLOSE – one to be sold off, three to re-open next year irreparably damaged by being converted into – of all things – fee-charging gyms that nobody wants.
“600 people marched in the rain in November to show that the whole borough rejects this
disastrous, expensive scheme. “Well over 10,000 signed petitions. “Hundreds came to council meetings that rubber-stamped the closure plans without considering any alternative.
“MARCH 5 IS A LAST CHANCE TO CONVINCE THE COUNCIL that Lambeth needs all its 10 libraries – and can have them, if the council just changes its mind…
MARCH 5 POSTERS TO DOWNLOAD & DISTRIBUTE
HELP US GIVE OUT LEAFLETS!
NEW ONLINE PETITION
“A BOOKSHELF IN A GYM IS NOT A LIBRARY – AND NO CHILD LEARNT TO READ IN A GYM”
More than 5,000 people have signed an online petition to withdraw their plans for five of Lambeth’s libraries.
Victoria Sherwin, who started the petition, says online: “As part of Friends of Lambeth Libraries I have launched this petition on their behalf to call on Lambeth Council to halt action on their ‘Culture 2020’ plans and for the council to withdraw the proposals to close five of Lambeth’s libraries.
“Replacing free Libraries with paid-for membership gyms is in no-one’s interest. “No child learnt to read in a gym, no older person found a friendly face to help with their information needs. “We believe that closing libraries is a short-sighted and irresponsible plan; public libraries are an essential part of a functioning literate nation.
“This is an act of vandalism against the community, signalling the death of hope that anything can ever get better. “Libraries change lives. “Libraries are more than a material resource; they are the commitment of our community to its future. “They express a faith in the power of shared imagination.
“Three of the libraries will become mini-gyms. “A bookshelf in a gym is not a library.
“There will be no staff to hold story and rhyme times, reading groups, homework clubs or offer advice on applying for jobs and benefits. “Lambeth won’t only lose half its libraries. “We will lose our dementia groups, our film clubs, our English conversation groups, our chess clubs, our coders clubs, our access to advice and information, our safe and neutral spaces for children to study. Lambeth Council is ripping the heart out of our communities.
“We call on Lambeth council to halt their action immediately before it is irreversible.
“Read more about this on the Friends of Lambeth Libraries website.”