Jun 152017

Friends of TSL held their annual general meeting, at the library, on May 31st  .

The chairman’s annual report highlighted the tremendous performance of our library in the year since it was saved from conversion to a gym with minimal library provision. In the twelve months ending March 31st 2017  the number of visits reached 192,595, one fifth up on the year before and  double the figure just  two years earlier. It was the fourth busiest public library in Lambeth, outranked only by three of the much bigger and better resourced “town centre” libraries.

And in late 2016 TSL won a Time Out Love London award  as top of the local culture category in our neighbourhood – the only library to do so in South London.

These results are all the more gratifying in that TSL gets very limited resources from the Council and very little interest or backing from councillors (with one exception). At the same time they strengthen  the commitment of Friends of TSL  to keep this a full-service public library, even as library funding is squeezed. So the  focus of our campaign has been to secure confirmation that Council funding will continue after the end of the current financial year – ie March 31st 2018 – and that whatever the still nebulous plans to set up a town centre library in the north of the borough TSL is not marked for demotion or closure.

Library management and staff were thanked for their energy, initiative, hard work and friendliness.

The treasurer’s report showed a slight improvement in our bank balance last year, by just under £200 to £1,477. A contributory factor was the success of the library manager in securing donations from local businesses (including developers at Vauxhall) channelled through Friends of TSL to fund special, community-oriented   events at the library.

In voting for the committee for 2017/18 the following were elected:

Chairman                                         Edith Holtham:

Vice-chairman                                  Laura Swaffield

Secretary                                           Philip Inglesant

Treasurer                                           John McCay

Membership secretary (interim)     Helen Holmes

Other members                                 Jana Hale and Ben Rymer

All of these were re-elections. The chairman stressed that we are very keen to bring new members on to the committee – either taking over existing posts (notably membership secretary) or bringing in new responsibilities. In addition the chairman has had to reduce her commitments to the basic roles of chairing meetings and editing the monthly newsletter, so an immediate vacancy exists for an events organiser .

Apr 262017

The next public library forum is on Saturday April 29th  from 2pm to 4pm. The head of Lambeth libraries, Susanna Barnes, and Tate South Lambeth Library’s manager, Maria Kwofie, will give an update on what’s happened at the library, its performance, and plans for the future. This is the opportunity for the general public – […]

Apr 162017
A festival to celebrate English heritage and history

To mark St George’s Day and the birthday of William Shakespeare – both on April 23rd – Tate South Lambeth Library, backed by local businesses, organisations and  volunteers, is putting on an English Heritage Festival, over the period April 22nd  to April 29th. The presentations, workshops and activities are all free of charge.Here’s the programme. […]

Apr 042017
The library market is back

With the arrival of spring and warmer weather, the Tate Community Market is back again on Saturdays, every two weeks, in Wilcox Close just beside the library. The market is now managed and coordinated by the Business Women Network UK, in a cooperation with Tate South Lambeth Library that will generate income to support our […]

Mar 262017
A crime writer spills the beans

Wednesday March 29th  7pm (doors open at 6.30) John Nightingale, author of The Appearance of Murder, selected as one of  The Times books of the year in 2015, talks about his life and his writing. Admittance free. Refreshments available.

Jan 242017
London in Fragments: A Mudlark’s Treasures

Have you ever walked over a London bridge and looked down to see the tide was out on the river, and the freshly exposed beaches were dotted with little hunched figures, picking their way across the foreshore? Those figures were likely to be Thames beachcombers, called mudlarks, searching among the flints and gravel for fragments […]

Jan 022017
A welcome to – and from – our US neighbours (and neighbors)

2017 will see the arrival of an important new neighbour for the library – the new US embassy in Nine Elms, now in the final stages of construction. Against this background the embassy is developing its relations with the local community – for which Tate South Lambeth library is an ideal channel. First the library […]

Jan 022017

Tate South Lambeth Library has been voted winner among “local culture” venues in South Lambeth in Time Out magazine’s Love London 2016 ballot. This is particularly pleasing because TSL is not just the only Lambeth library to win in the local culture category, it is the only one in South London. (North London got one […]

Nov 122016
It's time to party

Friends of TSL are holding their annual party on Friday December 9th (7-9pm) . Technically this is a party for Friends – but everyone is welcome to enjoy seasonal food and drink, and entertainment by the ever popular Kennington Community Choir. If you’re not a paid- up member of Friends of TSL (for the year July 2016-June 2017)  just […]

Nov 122016
Get unique Christmas gifts at the library's craft market

S aturday December 3rd is the date for the Tate South Lambeth Community Christmas Craft Market – timed just right for you to buy gifts, cards and decorations for Christmas. Come along between 10am and 4pm and see the range of crafts made by local people – jewellery, stained glass, artworks, cards, decorations, knitting, sewing and […]

Nov 122016

The October 22nd public library forum at TSL (where managers present a rundown of what has happened at the library, its performance, and plans for the future) gave us reason to rejoice, but also grounds for continuing concern. The good news first. Our library’s performance figures remain very strong, In the first six months of […]

Oct 162016
Library Forum 22nd October

Find out what’s going on at the library At the library forum on Saturday October 22nd, from 2pm to 4pm, library managers will present a rundown of what’s happened and is happening at the library, its performance, and plans for the future. This is the opportunity to put your questions, proposals – and complaints. Everyone is […]

Oct 092016
Pan Worldwide: film screening and director's Q&A

On Wednesday October 12th, starting at 7pm, you can see the second section of a two-part documentary – Panomundo – that explores the history of the steelpan, the emblematic music of Trinidad-Tobago, and its global influence. Three years ago, a screening at Tate South Lambeth Library of Panomundo Part 1: The Evolution of the Steelpan […]

Oct 022016
Fun Palace

Saturday 1st October 2016 10:00 – 4:00 pm Food and drink, face-painting, storytime sessions, live music, dance performances, balloon modelling, cake competition, cycle safety awareness, gaming club – Playstation4, knitting workshop, information stalls, raffle, and much more … Tate South Lambeth Library, 180 South Lambeth Road, SW8 1QP 020 7926 0705 Including: Bake-off competition to […]

Aug 292016
A new window on old Vauxhall

The official launch of Vauxhall History, a free online community archive of eyewitness accounts, articles, images and original documents, backed by the Vauxhall Society. Tuesday September 6th – 7pm (doors open at 6.30) This is a get-together for anybody interested in Vauxhall Past. Join readers and writers of Vauxhall history and guests who include: David […]

Aug 232016
Comrades, brothers and pioneers: the first public librarians in London

Michelle Johansen, researcher and writer on Victorian public libraries, tells the forgotten stories of the pioneering generation of public librarians in London – who  helped create the “universities of the people”. Among these was Frank Burgoyne who managed the newly established public libraries in Lambeth – including Tate Free Library in South Lambeth Road (our […]

Aug 102016

Tom Hughes, the new member of staff at Tate South Lambeth, will be running a Beginner’s Drawing Class on Fridays from 10:30am to 12 noon. This will involve drawing from  still-life with pencils and paper. The emphasis will be on basic traditional drawing skills rather than creativity, but the inner artistic genius in everyone usually […]

Aug 102016
Your Library needs YOU

The committee of Friends of TSL will have empty spaces coming up in the next six months, as some members leave the area or take on pressing family or work commitments. So we’re looking for volunteers to: develop and run our programme of talks (in cooperation with the Vauxhall Society) pursue fundraising opportunities run the […]

Aug 102016
Library Forum July 2016

The library forum reports no progress so far on renovation and repair… The public library forum held on July 30th 2016 reported no forward movement on the renovation of the library or the repair of the non-functioning public lavatory. However the head of library services, Susanna Barnes, was able to assure the meeting that some […]

Aug 102016
TSL’s very own carnival

The last Sunday and Monday of August is the date for the Notting Hill Carnival, Europe’s biggest street party. Tate South Lambeth Library is to run its own version – a community festival on Saturday August 27th. The Tate Carnival, which runs from 10am to 4pm, will feature: Food and drink Live music Face-painting and […]

Jul 022016

Friends of TSL held their annual general meeting, at the library, on May 18th 2016. The chairman’s annual report highlighted the battle to save the library from Lambeth Council’s plan to convert it into a “healthy living centre” – a fee-paying gym with a small, undefined area dedicated to a few bookshelves, a few computers and […]

May 202016
On the Wings of Love? Fugitive marriage in the Georgian era

Wednesday May 25th 7.00pm (doors open 6.30pm)  Naomi Clifford’s recently published book The Disappearance of Maria Glenn tells the true story of the mystery surrounding the abduction of a teenager in 1817. What seemed a simple newspaper report of elopement gone wrong turns out to be a rollercoaster story of crime, coercion, illusory triumph and […]

May 202016
Defending the Ten: 10 days of the #Carnegie occupation

Tate Local – the gallery space in Tate South Lambeth library – is hosting an exhibition of documentary photographs by Richard Baker about the occupation of Carnegie Library in Herne Hill in April 2016. After 110 years of library service at Carnegie, Lambeth Council closed this Grade II listed building on April 1st 2016 to […]

May 042016
Come and have your say at our AGM on May 18th

The annual general meeting of Friends of Tate South Lambeth Library will be held at the library on Wednesday May 18th , starting at 6.30pm The meeting starts with the standard “official” items: reports by the chairman and the treasurer for the past year (2015/16), followed by elections to next year’s committee ( for which […]

May 042016

The rise in the number of visits to Tate South Lambeth Library continues at the top of the league of Lambeth libraries – further confirmation of the immense popularity of our local library. In the 12 months April 2015- March 2016 visits to the library were up by a spectacular 65% (ie two thirds) on […]

Feb 072016
Covent Garden Nine Elms – then, now and in the future

Wednesday February 17th 7pm (doors open at 6.30) Covent Garden Market Authority’s Helen Evans gives an update on the explosion of activity that is Nine Elms/Vauxhall’s New Covent Garden Market. This talk is organised by Friends of TSL in cooperation with the Vauxhall Society Admission free. Refreshments available

Feb 032016

On January  27th Lambeth’s Labour councillors – who have an overwhelming majority on the Council – voted yet again to support the library policy set out in the Culture 2020 document. They approved an amendment, by Councillor Jane Edbrooke, to a motion supporting the mutual trust proposal from the head of Lambeth Libraries, presented by the […]

Feb 032016

During the Council session on January 27th Councillor Edbrooke stated that an independent expert would now evaluate the feasibility of the staff/community mutual fund proposal. That sounds encouraging. Deceptively so. Councillor Edbrooke gave no indication as to how long this evaluation would take. The suspicion of all the library friends groups campaigning to keep a […]

Feb 212017

The latest figures for library performance, from Lambeth Council, show that visits to Tate South Lambeth Library have risen from 93,592 on 2014 to 180,623 in 2016. That’s a doubling in numbers in just two years (well, just a bit under – a rise of 93%) –  an amazing increase. We all know why – […]

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