Carnegie Library Users Consultative Group

The Users Consultative Group is an informal network of the groups who support and use the library. It was formed in June of last year and the members are:
Book at Breakfast, who meet and read together.
Carnegie Creatives, who are the artists and others who use the desk spaces on the ground and first floors of the downhill (North) wing.
Carnegie Library Book Group, who meet to discuss books they have read.
Carnegie Library Chess Club.
Friends of Carnegie Library.
Ruskin Readers, who run the adult literacy clubs.
Parents and Toddlers, who take part in the Wriggle and Rhyme sessions.
Silver Surfers, who are middle-aged or older people mastering computers and the internet with help from our friendly library staff.

The Users Group fully supports the proposal for a Community and Staff Mutual comprising all ten of Lambeth's Libraries and the Home Visit Service, which provides a library service to the housebound from the Carnegie Library building. However, Lambeth might insist on the building being leased to a separate entity local to Herne Hill and the precaution has therefore been taken of forming a charitable incorporated organisation which would be able to manage the building in support of the Mutual. Its name is Carnegie Library Herne Hill Association CIO and it has the shorter working name of Carnegie Library Association CIO.

The Association is a membership organisation and from the first AGM onwards the members would elect a committee of trustees to run the Association. The minimum number of trustees is three and the maximum twelve. Three officers of the Friends became trustees on incorporation and the aim is to recruit a trustee from each of the other groups, so that the committee would become broadly representative of the users and the Friends would be in the minority.

A copy of the Association's constitution is here.

Carnegie Library on YouTube!

A video about our library and its current plight has been posted for view on YouTube. Made by brilliant young film maker Kaatje Jones, it runs for just under ten minutes and highlights some of the groups and activities in Carnegie Library, which are all under threat of ceasing on 31 March, if Lambeth persists in its plans.

Please watch the video on Video and support our campaign to keep a full library service, run by our dedicated professional staff, with all the clubs, groups, events and activities we now enjoy, plus more being developed and facilitated by the Friends.

Tate South Lambeth is facing similar problems, here is their recent newsletter:
Tate South Library Newsletter

Details of the library service management plans to keep all 10 libraries operating are here:
Library service plan.

Saturday 6 February is National Libraries Day. Come and show how much you love and need the library and what it means to you. Highlight of the day will be a rally at 2.00pm on the steps of the library. Look out for leaflets and posters and come out in force. Afterwards, visit our tea and yummy cake stall, play chess, do some gardening or attend Councillor Agdomar’s surgery.

On Wednesday 27th January there will be a Council meeting at which the Lambeth libraries campaign have a motion calling on the council to support the libraries management plan to continue a genuine library service at all 10 of Lambeth's libraries. Please come along to show how important libraries are to Lambeth residents.

Public meeting on the Carnegie’s future, 16th November

Lambeth Council's Cabinet has approved plans to convert the library into a "healthy living centre" based on a fee-paying gym with a "small selection of books" in the gym's lounge. There would not be any library staff; it is unclear whether the gym would be staffed. The conversion works are estimated to take at least 9 months and close the building for most of 2016. The Friends are holding a public meeting on Monday 16 November at 6.30 for 7-8.30pm in the Carnegie, to discuss the plans, and our work to oppose these and to promote alternatives.

Here are the slides from the meeting: Friends of Carnegie Library(1)

We will be posting more information on the campaign shortly. Thanks to everyone for your support!

What does Lambeth mean by a “Neighbourhood Library”?

This term was introduced by Lambeth in its Culture 2020 Report, which is available at
Cabinet report
in the Full cabinet papers.

The report uses the following key definitions :-

"Healthy Living Centre" is a gym which has a lounge. [1]

"Neighbourhood Library" is a self-service facility in the gym's lounge offering "a small selection of books," [2], Wi-Fi access and computers. [3]

In other words a "neighbourhood library" would not be a library.

[1] Page 45 paragraph 7.9

[2] Page 154
[3] Page 30 paragraphs 5.21 and 5.22

Please sign our petition against the cuts

We have started a petition to ask Lambeth to maintain a full library service at the Carnegie, please sign this at:
petition. This is also available in printed form in the library.

Some recent articles about the Culture2020 proposals are:

InDulwich article

The wedding venue that never was

£7,000,000 capital investment from Lambeth for Brixton Rec, run by Greenwich Leisure Limited, trading as Better, the very organisation lined up to take over the Carnegie. What's going on, I thought we were cutting budgets?

Library users furious over plan to turn the Carnegie into a gym

Lambeth Council has announced plans to spend a million pounds transforming most of the local library space at Herne Hill's Carnegie Library into a commercial gym and then further hundreds of thousands of pounds subsidising its use by Greenwich Leisure Ltd.

Surveys of local residents carried out in 2000 and 2014 disclosed no demand for a gym at the Carnegie, but Lambeth are nevertheless pushing ahead with the plan, with no further consultation.

The library would be closed completely for at least nine months while the work was being done and then reopen without any staff in a fraction of its previous space.

Jeff Doorn, Chair of the Friends of Carnegie Library, said:
"This will destroy our library which is a flourishing hub of the local community and promotes the health and wellbeing of people of all ages and fitness levels, not just the minority who will use a gym. At a time of financial stress Lambeth should be using its limited resources for the public benefit instead of throwing money away and destroying services."