“WE HAVE NEVER SAID WE WANT ONLY A LIBRARY”: FRIENDS OF CARNEGIE RESPOND TO ‘COMMUNITY TRUST’ STATEMENT – “No other Friends group would agree to volunteers replacing professional staff”
Friends of Carnegie Library have hit back at claims that they only want a library in the currently-closed building on Herne Hill Road.
The claims are made in a lengthy statement* – the equivalent of about five A4 size pages – from the secretive Labour-dominated Carnegie Community Trust.
The statement – which revealed that Lambeth council planned the “immeidate closure” of the Herne Hill library – made much criticism of the Friends and of Defend the Ten, the organisation set up to keep Lambeth borough’s ten libraries.
“The Carnegie Community Trust (CCT) posting contains many more inaccuracies than we have time to correct at present” say the Friends. “The matters concerned have already been dealt with in detail previously.
“But I should mention some aspects which are likely to jump out at readers:
“1. There seems to be an attempt to distract readers from the basic fact that Lambeth acknowledge that they have the money to run all their libraries but CHOOSE instead to spend this money on subsidising gyms. (Culture 2020 Report paragraph 5.8)
“2. CCT refer to a proposal for an ‘endowment’ fund and say this could have covered staff salaries.
“At no time was it suggested to the Friends that the fund could pay for library staff. “We were invited to establish a volunteer-run library. “This had already been rejected by our members in general meeting. “No other Friends group would agree to volunteers replacing professional staff. (The proposal did not go ahead anyway because it was to be funded by selling off Waterloo and Minet libraries which proved to be impractical.)
“3. The CCT claim the Friends want only a library and nothing else. We have never said that: instead, we have consistently proposed developing the library for compatible wider use. “The charity we set up with eight other user groups, Carnegie Library Association CIO, will do just that.
“In a posting on their website dated 2nd June Carnegie Community Trust accuse the Friends’ committee of lying, but there is no indication of when or where the statements objected to are alleged to have been made, and there is no distinction made between the Friends and Defend the Ten, a separate organisation.
“If there is any assertion in anything written on behalf of the Friends which it is felt needs justification I would be grateful if this could be brought to my attention. “We do usually give chapter and verse for anything we publish, and would be happy to remedy any apparent omission.”
HERNE HILL SOCIETY, asked for a comment on the Carnegie Community Trust statement, told News From Crystal Palace: “While the Herne Hill Society is highly critical of Lambeth’s handling of the situation it has agreed to remain neutral towards viable bids from local groups to run the Carnegie building and retain a library service.”
* Please see LAMBETH PLANNED “IMMEDIATE CLOSURE” OF CARNEGIE LIBRARY – June 6th
FRIENDS OF CARNEGIE LIBRARY – EVENTS
Saturday 4 June, 1.00 – 5.00pm
Bessemer Grange Tenants and Residents Association are having a community event, at Denmark Hill Community Centre. The Friends will have a stall to raise awareness of the closure of our library, seek support and new members. There will be hot food and entertainment available. If you can spare an hour or so helping on the stall, please let us know.
Saturday 18 June, 1.00 – 5.00pm
Once again, we will have a stall at the annual Ruskin Park Fete. Further help on the stall would be most welcome; please let us know if you can join the team, and the time preferred. Otherwise, do come along and say hello; it is always a fun event, with various community groups, and music on the bandstand.
Saturday 9 July, afternoon
We are planning a celebration of the 110th anniversary of the opening of Carnegie Library. Look out for details of this important commemoration.
Saturday afternoons: The Chess Club meets on the steps of the library, weather permitting, for play, tuition and cakes!
Wednesday evenings: library supporters gather on the steps to socialise and keep the spirit of our library alive – hope to see you there.