NEW FRIENDS OF UPPER NORWOOD JOINT LIBRARY GROUP FORMED
A new Friends of Upper Norwood Joint Library has been formed by Defend the Ten – the group behind the campaign to save all of Lambeth’s ten libraries.
A promotional leaflet announcing its formation says: “All other libraries in Lambeth have a Friends group and this has helped to defend them from many of Lambeth council’s worst intentions.
“We need the same for Upper Norwood URGENTLY!”
The leaflet says it was only the intervention of Defend the Ten – a group set up to save all of Lambeth’s 10 libraries that led Lambeth to retain one trained librarian.
“But much more needs to be done.”
Membership fees range from £1 (student / concession); £3 individual / sole trader; £5 household £7 charity / social; enterprise to £10 for a limited company.
FUNJL’s first meeting is expected to take place in early June at which office holders will be appointed by simple majority voting.
LIBRARIES: News From Crystal Palace understands that archives from the Minet library in Brixton have been moved into the former nuclear bunker under Pear Tree house on the Central Hill estate, Upper Norwood – and that Greenwich Leisure are rumoured to be asking for MORE space inside the Minet library, Knatchbull Road, SE5 where Greenwich Leisure and Lambeth council want to install a gym.
In exchanges on Facebook between Tom Brandon and the Upper Norwood Library Trust, Tom Brandon says:
Defend the Ten has created a Friends of Upper Norwood Joint Library group to help the library users join the real campaign to defend the library from the savage cuts being imposed by Lambeth Council.
The position of the Defend the Ten campaign is not to view Lambeth’s libraries as solitary units but as part of a much greater service that the whole community – and beyond – needs. Indeed, as I write and post there are several students in Brixton Library who I have seen many times in UNJL who should be able to study nearer home should they wish.
The Defend the Ten campaign is currently about fighting to maintain the pre-Culture 2020 status quo with regards to all library personnel and services but will not cease after this has been achieved and will continue to force improvements.
The professional library provision was announced without any prior notice by Lambeth council on 27 April 2016 and is a direct result of a long and vociferous campaign by Save Our Libraries – Lambeth and Defend the Ten who have occupied Carnegie library, organised a massive petition of 15,000 signatures, organised the biggest march and rally Lambeth has seen for decades and held a rally in support of Cllr Rachel Heywood who backs us, protested at council cabinet meetings and leafleted at many locations throughout Lambeth on behalf of all ten Lambeth libraries.
This has resulted in DCMS (Department for Culture, Media and Sport) investigating the basis of Lambeth council’s Culture 2020 proposals with respect to libraries. The 35 hours of professional library provision at Upper Norwood Joint Library is merely a fig leaf to cover the glaring inadequacies in Culture 2020 until the DCMS investigation has been concluded.
It is most likely that this much-lauded 35 hours of professional library provision will be withdrawn when reviewed after one year.
Lambeth council have attempted to use undisguised divide and rule tactics with other libraries (Durning and Tate South Lambeth) in the past and the Defend the Ten campaign has successfully fought to retain the unity that is its strength.
To continue this divide and rule tactic with respect to Carnegie Herne Hill Lambeth council has created the inappropriately named Carnegie Community Trust (CCT) to do its bidding.
Admittedly, UNLT is a genuine community organisation – unlike CCT which is run by ex-councillors and their cronies and which has no intention of opening itself up to democratic representation in the community (for this you would need to join the Friends of Carnegie Library who are a part of the Defend the Ten campaign).
Save Our Libraries – Lambeth and Defend the Ten will never accept the current arrangements for Upper Norwood Joint Library and will continue to fight for a proper and full library service in it and all 10 Lambeth libraries.
Editor’s note: UPPER NORWOOD LIBRARY TRUST – in an exchange with FUNJL’s Tom Brandon on Facebook – have stated: “Our negotiations have resulted in a professional library provision of 35 hours per week.
“Of course it is not ideal but, in these difficult times, the building will be open to the community, the library service will be available, children will be able to enjoy Waggle and Hum, students will still have a safe place to study, the digitally excluded will still have access to free classes on how to use computers and the internet, children’s dancing classes will continue, so will Norwood Society meetings and all the other current activities.”
The trust have also vehemently stated there will be no volunteers used in Upper Norwood joint library, although FUNJL’s handbill announcing their arrival says volunteers will be used.