All posts by John Cagan

The Louder I Will Sing – Lee Lawrence, 12 October 7pm

Lee Lawrence photo by Smoking Monkey

Join Lee to discuss his award-winning biography and the event that changed Brixton forever.

What would you do if the people you trusted to uphold the law committed a crime against you? Who would you turn to? And how long would you fight them for?

On 28th September 1985, Lee Lawrence's mother Cherry Groce was wrongly shot by police during a raid on her Brixton home. The bullet shattered her spine and she never walked again. In the chaos that followed, 11-year-old Lee watched in horror as the News falsely pronounced his mother dead. In Brixton, already a powder keg because of the deep racism that the community was experiencing, it was the spark needed to trigger two days of rioting that saw buildings brought down by petrol bombs, cars torched, and shops looted.

But for Lee, it was a spark that lit a flame that would burn for the next 30 years as he fought to get the police to recognise their wrongdoing. His life had changed forever.

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In person in the library

Ruskin’s relevance today for how we live, work, and see the world – author Andrew Hill, 14 September, Tuesday evening 7pm (in the library!)

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John Ruskin, best-known and most controversial intellectual of the Victorian age, was an art critic, a social activist, an early environmentalist. He was also a painter, writer, and a determined tastemaker in the fields of architecture and design. By championing JMW Turner and the Pre-Raphaelites, he ensured that their flame continued to burn long beyond his death in 1900, even as his own reputation faded.

Research for his award-winning book Ruskinland: How John Ruskin Shapes Our World took Financial Times columnist Andrew Hill from Herne Hill to the Lake District, from Venice to Florida's Gulf Coast, as he traced the influence of Ruskin and his ideas.

This event is now an in-person event at Carnegie Library! (but if circumstances change and this is not possible, it will be online via Zoom. If the event reverts to online - we will update you accordingly).

Free Registration

Lambeth Libraries getting ready for the summer and July events

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Summer Reading Challenge

Wow... summer is here! This year it comes with some hope that we can get out and about and start to do some of the things that we've had to miss for a year or so.

July sees the start of the annual Summer Reading Challenge for children; the library reading scheme encourages children aged 4 to 12 years old to set themselves a reading challenge of six books over the summer. In the process helping to prevent the summer 'reading dip' and motivate children to keep reading, to build their skills and confidence. Children must be a library member to take part but don’t worry if you haven't done it yet, you and the children can join here and it’s free. Of course we've got a fantastic line up of other events and activities for you to do online during July too.  

Do keep in contact with your local library services as things continue their gradual opening up. We'd love you to come in and browse where possible - just book an appointment and the library is yours! You can book appointments to use a PC, to print, photocopy/scan, browse, or study just call or email your local branch during opening hours and, as always, we'll be happy to help. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact us at libraries@lambeth.gov.uk. Our plethora of free online resources is still available for you to enjoy so happy reading / listening / watching / learning!

Join Ilona and the Friends of Carnegie Library as she talks about her book When I Ran Away – Tuesday, 13 July 7pm

When I Ran Away follows a woman's journey from 9/11 over fifteen years, leaving her country, husband and children in search of a new life. It covers themes of friendship, grief, humour in dark times, isolation, dislocation, mental health, motherhood, loss of self/redefining self.

Ilona Bannister is a New Yorker married to an Englishman and raising two young sons in South London. A dual qualified US attorney and UK solicitor, Ilona practiced UK immigration law, and her experiences as a lawyer working closely with families in difficult situations, as well as her life as an expat, have made her a keen observer of people and the struggles of outsiders.

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(Online details will be emailed two hours before the start of the event to all who register.)

London’s Loveable Villain, introduced by author Andy Scott – Tuesday 8 June, 7pm

Andy Scott reads from his book London's Loveable Villain about his great-uncle Chick "Cocky" Knight aka "the Bear". Described as a real London character, boxer, bouncer, wrestler, lifesaver, villain but undoubtedly with a heart of gold - Chick saved at least 3 people's lives in dramatic circumstances. As a bouncer in Soho he took on four wielding knives and razors. As a professional wrestler he appeared all over the world, fighting all the great heavyweights in a 25 year career from 1932 to 1958, and in 1938 one of the first to appear on television.

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Lambeth Libraries Children’s book Festival and much more for June…

Go to library websiteopen-to-discovery Lambeth Libraries Children's book Festival and much more for June... Lambeth with Lambeth Libraries Children & Young Peoples Readers and Writers festival

June is another busy month and we've got a fantastic line up of events and activities for you to do online. There are many celebrations during June and hopefully we have something for everyone whether you're celebrating LGBTQ+ Pride, the Windrush generation, Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month, Refugee week or are a lover of authors and great writing. 

In particular this month we have wonderful stories and children's authors for the young ones. Do check out the Lambeth Libraries Children & Young People’s Festival 2021 where you'll find much to do and enjoy. In the physical world, library services across Lambeth continue our gradual opening up. You can book an appointment to use a PC, to print, photocopy/scan, browse, or study just call or email your local branch during opening hours and, as always, we'll be happy to help. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact us at libraries@lambeth.gov.uk. Our plethora of free online resources is still available for you to enjoy so happy reading / listening / watching / learning!