Quality, style, fun – at the library craft show


An appreciation from Kate Kelly-Tanguay, a visitor to the craft show on Saturday December 7th:

Arriving half way through the craft show, I had a lovely time browsing the stalls – the best position to solve a couple of Christmas present quandaries, snapping up a black tatting pendant on a ribbon beautifully set with sparkling stones for my 16 year-old goddaughter and Christmas lavender-filled knitted trees (one of which will be a seasonal hanging on the pram of a great niece). I also acquired a lavender wreath fashioned during a gardening group meeting, which is now gracing my front door, wafts of a soothing smell greeting anyone passing in and out of the flat. Even the postman could enjoy it! But I came too late to get one of those ultra-fashionable bobble hats, produced by the library’s knitting group. Continue reading “Quality, style, fun – at the library craft show”

The library forum: time to find out what’s going on

The next session of the Tate South Lambeth Library public forum will be held at the library on Saturday January 18th at 2-4pm. This is the opportunity for any member of the general public to raise questions, present complaints, challenge library policy and priorities, and put forward proposals.

Everyone is invited.

The highlight of the meeting will be a description by Susanna Barnes, Library Manager Operations and Communities, of the new staffing structure to be introduced at TSL (as part of the overall restructuring of the Lambeth library service).

Susanna will also report on plans for building work at TSL. This is an area of great concern to supporters of our local library in that – with only three months to go before the end of the financial year – no work has yet begun on a £107,000 capital spending programme planned for TSL.

Two updates will be presented – on the c.£4,000 spend on equipment for the library under Section 106 funding and on volunteering at the library.

This agenda covers most of the points that Friends committee wants this forum to deal with. But we also want answers to the following questions:

  • when will something be done to tackle the known underlying problem (defective drains) that means the public toilet remains out of use?
  • what are the rates the library proposes to charge for out-of-hours use of the premises?

An invitation to Friends’ annual Pre Burns Night party

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Friends of TSL will be holding their now-rather-famous annual Pre Burns Night party on Friday January 24th at the library, starting at 7pm.

This celebration of the great Scots poet, Robert Burns, will include all the traditional farehaggis (both original and vegetarian), neeps and  tatties, whisky – as well as wine, soft drinks and puddings. On top of the traditional Ode to the Haggis by Burns the party will listen to songs composed or adapted by Burns. Everyone will be invited to join in – but singing  is not compulsory.

All this is free for members of Friends  and just £3 (the annual membership fee) for non-members.

Drop by, enjoy the feast, the entertainment and the company – and chase away post Christmas blues.

Conversation classes – Portuguese for English speakers, and English for Portuguese speakers

Another development of Tate South Lambeth Library’s programme enhancing contacts with the Portuguese community…

Starting on January 10th the library will be hosting joint conversation sessions – free of charge – in English for Portuguese speakers and Portuguese for English speakers. Beginners are welcome. The sessions will be held every Friday from 10am to 12 noon, led by Maria Marques from the Stockwell Partnership which has organised this activity. Come along and improve your language skills, make new friends – and get even more from our Little Portugal neighbourhood.

For more information and to register, ask at the library desk or contact Maria at maria@stockwell.org.uk


Book Break – a reading group with no pressure

A new reading group is now up and running at the library, every Thursday from 2 to 3.45pm, offering a place to relax, a chance to make new friends and an easy way to share reading.

You don’t have to read anything in advance as everything is read aloud to you each week. You can just drop in, sit down and enjoy listening to a good short story or poem. There’s no pressure to talk, to read – or even to drink tea.

For more information call at the library desk, phone 020 7926 0705, or email Lois Walters from the Reader Organisation at loiswalters@thereader.org.uk

Lois is also looking for volunteers to assist the group.  The Reader Organisation will train them for free and give support to them after their training.  Please email her.

The October 12th library forum: what we learned

Every three months a public forum – open to all – is held at the library at which library managers give updates on what has happened at Tate South Lambeth and what is planned, and local people question and hold them to account.

At the latest forum, on October 12th, we learned:

  • The newly renovated public toilet is again intermittently out of order, because the cause – faulty drains – was not dealt with
  • No date has yet been set for the start of this year’s major capital spending programme but any unspent amount will not be lost
  • Staff restructuring to meet the budget reduction target is unlikely to be implemented until January 2014
  • Official clearance of volunteers to support library activities is still to be done

This was the third library forum.  It was chaired by Councillor Jack Hopkins and was addressed by Olivia Spencer (Interim Head of Libraries and Archives), Michael Towsey (Principal Librarian of North Group/ manager at TSL) and Pauline Edole (Library Services Manager at TSL). Five members of the committee of Friends of TSL were among the crowd and all joined in the discussion.

The minutes of the meeting will be available at the library – watch the board for a notice. This account picks out a few highlights. Continue reading “The October 12th library forum: what we learned”

Another gift to the library from CLS Holdings

A leading corporate supporter of Friends of TSL is paying for a major improvement in the facilities at the library – for the second year in succession.

CLS Holdings (the property investment company which has a big presence in the development of Vauxhall) is funding the installation of a blackout blind at the skylight immediately over the film screening area. This will improve the quality of summer evening shows and – even more significant – make possible film screenings during daylight, which will directly benefit older people and families with young children.

This latest donation follows the pattern of the earlier one, which opened out the garden and courtyard at the rear of Tate South Lambeth Library through the installation of a see-through gate and CCTV camera. That work widened the opportunity for local people to enjoy the library’s facilities – a development that is also one of the priorities of Friends of TSL.

So a super-big thanks to Friends’ friends at CLS.


Time to check on promises and performance – the library forum on October 12th

The next session of the Tate South Lambeth Library public forum will be held at the library on Saturday October 12th at 2-4pm. This is the face-to-face meeting of library managers and local people, held every three months, where the library’s plans are set out and its performance is held up to scrutiny by the general public.

The October 12th meeting will provide up-to-date information on:

  • The planned restructuring of library staff
  • Spending so far on this year’s budget
  • The items to be bought for TSL from Section 106 funds (money that developers pay for projects to benefit the local community)
  • New activities at the library
  • Work on the building – recent and planned

This is the opportunity for any member of the general public to raise questions, present complaints, challenge library policy and priorities, and put forward proposals.

Everyone is invited.

Members of Friends committee will be raising two issues:  what’s the progress on spending this year’s capital allocation of £107,000 (if the library doesn’t get a move on, the money will be left unspent at the end of the financial year); and how far has the library got in mobilising volunteers to support its activities.

Books and DVDs at bargain prices – and all to help the library


.Secondhand Books

Saturday October 5th is the date for another book sale by Friends to raise funds for equipment and materials to support the library’s services.

Our book sales are a great way for you  to show  support for the library  by –

donating  books (drop them off at the library desk in a bag or box labelled Friends book sale).

buying the books.and DVDs – all in good condition and at bargain prices with £1 for most hardbacks ( and  a maximum of £4), 50p for paperbacks, 40p for children’s books ( or three for £1) and 50p for DVDs.

The sale – at the library -runs from 10.30 to 4pm