Shutting Sydenham Library

Sydenham Library, London SE26

“The first we knew of it was a posting in the Sydenham Town Forum by Pat Trembath. Someone had tipped off the chair of Sydenham Society about an item on the following week’s Cabinet Agenda where the council officer’s recommended the closure of our Library to save £165,000.”

That was 2005 (see «here»). We saved it.

But the council now appear determined to finish it off. They have let the building run down while renovating other libraries and no cite maintenence as the problem. Strangely all the other smaller libraries in Lewisham are also threatened as part of the £60 million proposed council cuts. It isn’t this building – it is Lewisham deciding to drastically reduce the library service from 12 to just 7 libraries. Not just libraries but librarians the people who connect much of the community to literature, information, the internet and important social services.

The Mayor and council were elected just 4 months ago. There was no such proposal in their manifestos even though the probable economic outlook was known as has not changed.

They have chosen a Library that stands in an area devasted by the two recent murders – one within a few feet. The community came together to reclaim Home Park and to make the area safe for kids and all. The closure will create an unused shell, cut off a valued meeting point, internet access for those looking for work and help, access to literature for the next generation and more.

An adhoc campaign group has formed to inform and motivate the community. About 20 people met last night (9th September) at the Kangley Bridge Leisure Centre to decide what we should try and do in the next fortnight leading to the next Council Meeting on September 23rd.

To ask to make a presentation at the Sydenham Assembly on 11th September and Perry Vale assembly on the 18th. To create awareness, support and raise money
To print & distribute more flyers and bookmarks
To put posters in as many shops as possible
To get Sydenham Library on the press & TV agenda
To organise a demonstration on the 23rd
To get more signatures to the petition (currently ~1500)
To get people to write and email the Mayor

You can help. Sign the petition now, read the blog, make contact and help in the campaign. We only have a few weks to save the library given by the steel magnate Andrew Carnegie in 1904. Can we let the bankers, government and counicil of 2010 destroy that legacy?

Sydenham Library, London SE26

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