May 042016

The annual general meeting of Friends of Tate South Lambeth Library willAGM 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 we welcome newcomers).

Next comes an open discussion on items of interest and concern, raised by the committee members, Friends membership and anyone else.

Everyone is welcome to join in the discussion, but only paid- up members have a vote. So now’s the time to take out or renew membership. It’s only £3 (unchanged since 2000).

Please send a cheque, payable to Friends of Tate South Lambeth Library, to The Treasurer of Friends of TSL, 37 Abbot Court, London SW8 2BH or drop off your payment (cheque or cash) at the library desk, in an envelope marked Friends of TSL. Please include your name, address, telephone number and, if available, email address.

Alternatively you can pay electronically via Paypal: go to and click on Join Us!

Or – finally- come along to the AGM and pay as you come in.


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 the year earlier period. The number was just over 160,000 – or an average of over 13,000 a month. This puts our library in fourth place amongst Lambeth’s ten libraries, behind the “big three” town centre libraries (Brixton, Clapham and Streatham). These libraries are much better resourced than TSL and are open for many more hours each week (56 against TSL’s 39). If you look at visits per hour – a fairer measure – TSL is biting at Streatham’s heels. In March the TSL figure was 82 visits per hour; Streatham’s was 86.

And Lambeth was planning to close this top performer?

TSL’s results stand out, but the library service in Lambeth as a whole has reason to congratulate itself. Yet again – for the third year in succession – it has bucked the national trend of decline, with visits to libraries up by 7% year on year and book borrowings up by 5% (TSL’s borrowing figures rose by a slightly stronger 8%). This after a period of swingeing cuts in spending on our libraries. So the head of the service, Susanna Barnes, and library managers (especially TSL’s Maria Kwofie) are getting it right. Respect and gratitude are owed to them.

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 […]

Apr 082016

Friends of Tate South Lambeth Library invite everyone – Friends or not – to a party to celebrate the survival of our library after months when we feared it would shut its doors on April 1st. The date: Friday April 22nd The time: 7pm on The place: the library (of course!) There’ll be cake and […]

Apr 082016

On March 4th Lambeth Council announced that it would not close Tate South Lambeth Library – just four weeks before it was scheduled to cease operation as a library, as all Council funding was cut off. TSL and Durning library, in Kennington, will now operate as “interim town centre libraries” until a new single town […]

Apr 082016

The library was saved because of the massive local opposition to the Council’s proposal to convert our library into a gym (with a few books and no staff), leaving Durning as the single public library in the north of the borough. That opposition was registered in the public consultation in the final weeks of last […]

Apr 082016
Paul O'Grady - aka Lily Savage - loves our library

The campaign to save Tate South Lambeth received support from a wide range of local people, including celebrities – Joanna Lumley (who was the poster girl in Friends’ consultation campaign), Will Self ( who addressed the demonstration on March 5th), and Paul O’Grady ( otherwise known as Lily Savage) who sent us this personal testimony: […]

Feb 292016

The latest official figures show that numbers of visits to Tate South Lambeth are continuing to rise at a very strong rate. In the ten months from April 2015 to January  2016 Tate South Lambeth recorded over 136,000 visits, a rise of 71% (or over two thirds ) on the figures for the same ten […]

Feb 292016
The battle of the banner

  Friends of TSL have recently had  a little battle with the higher reaches of Lambeth Council. On February 8th – in the absence of any indication that Lambeth Council would abandon its plan to cut off all funding for Tate South Lambeth Library as of April 1st and invest some £1million in  converting it […]

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