Save Lewisham Library campaigners will be leafleting People’s Day this Saturday to oppose the council’s plans to turn libraries over to private interests and volunteer organisations and get rid of £1m worth of trained staff. This plan is being run despite concerted opposition from the public during last year’s consultation and a 500-strong march in May.
Campaigners will have Save Lewisham Libraries t-shirts, stickers and leaflets, supporting ‘Free books. Free Space. Free Minds.’ The Literacy Trust has said that children who use public libraries are twice as likely to read at home, and a child’s literacy level is more likely to influence their career in the future than economic factors.
Saturday’s action is to raise awareness for Save Lewisham Libraries’ lobbies of the council on the 13th and 20th of July, and follows a strike on Tuesday which shut three of the threatened libraries for the day. Strikers took action alongside library workers from Greenwich and teachers nationwide, joining the march in Central London.
Questions have already been submitted to ask if Councillors agree with council officers that ‘good progress has been made’ when their original plans to have four volunteer libraries now include a bid from a community interest company that doesn’t even exist and a London-wide artists' studio company to be given free use Forest Hill Library in exchange for an uncertain volunteer service.
Manor House and Catford Library are now to be staffed by a reduced skeleton crew of trained library staff who were initially only recruited to give added support to volunteers. As no suitable organisation could be found for Manor House Library, those Lewisham Libraries workers who have kept their jobs will be stretched even more.
Councillors’ political reputations will be measured on these results, despite it being unelected officers making the improvised and worrying changes.
Celebrate People’s Day by helping protect to your libraries and the unity in our community.
If you can help please contact Save Lewisham Libraries on Facebook or email email@example.com