Library workers are striking to raise awareness of the continuing threat that libraries of Lewisham face and the people who depend upon them – unless the council reverses its £1m cuts to library services.
The cut will mean Torridon Road Library, Forest Hill Library, Catford Library and Manor House Libraries close, bringing the number of libraries down to three from 12 in 2010.
With political parties in turmoil, it is crucial that people have access to a public institution that represents their personal histories, a breadth of cultures and the idea of shared understanding within a community. For this reason too, it is also vital that people stand up together to protect their jobs and the services which require them.
Since strike action in May when library workers, residents and campaigners joined forces to form a 500-strong march to Catford Civic Suite, the Council has fallen short of its timetabled response to workers and left them with a still uncertain future.
Whilst workers face uncertainty, so too do libraries, as unelected council officers promote bids from private interests in the form of an artist’s studio company (V22) and a community interest company which has not yet been properly formed.
In Lewisham Life magazine, residents were told Library cuts would save them money, but officers have agreed the maintenance costs of library buildings would be covered by the council.
Council officers have not delivered what councillors voted for but are plowing ahead, all against the will of the public who said no to more library cuts and more volunteer libraries.
Tuesday's strike will be in solidarity with Greenwich library workers who are striking to save their mobile library. We stand in solidarity with teachers who will hold a national strike on the same day. The strike will help to build momentum for the vital lobby of Lewisham council on 13th July.
For more information about the Council's apology for a plan: