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Protesters ‘ridicule’ plan to turn London library into combined gym and self-service library

About 250 campaigners attended an April Fool’s Day rally to ‘ridicule’ Lambeth Council’s decision to turn Carnegie Library, London, into ‘a healthy living centre with a self-service neighbourhood library’, reports the Bookseller.

The protest came nearly a year after 30 demonstrators occupied the library for 10 days in a bid to stop the library from closing and being given to Greenwich Leisure Limited, which wants to combine it with a gym.

The protesters have alleged that it has cost more in rates, utilities and security to police the library in Herne Hill over the last year of its closure, which the council denies.

Protester Laura Swaffield said Carnegie was ‘the busiest children’s library in the whole borough’. ‘It would have saved us a lot of trouble if the council had just said in the first place, “we haven’t a clue what we’re doing, but we don’t care because we’ve been trying to close this library and sell it off for twenty years”. The council ignored chance after chance to divert funding to the libraries. It has starved them for decades,’ said Swaffield

The library is scheduled to reopen as part of the refurbished community centre later this year.


Category: Library news International