Two amazing events to celebrate our LGBT community

February is LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) History Month.

As part of our celebrations, Tate South Lambeth Library is hosting two events.

Come along, have fun, share the joy at:

Friends LGBT+ Fair
Saturday February 9th 2019
12 noon-4pm

Art, crafts, second-hand books, zines,comics and more…
Stalls available, contact Colette at

LGBT+ Fair - 9th February 2019 - 12:00 - 4pm

12 noon: Drag Queen Storytime (yes, really!) for Under 5s and their parents (provided through Leap Lambeth)

2pm Rainbow Cake competition judging and prize-giving.
Make a rainbow cake and bring entries to the library by 12 noon on the day

Download and circulate our leaflet

Queer Alphabet Soup – LGBT+ Spoken Word
Tuesday February 19th 2019 7pm

Queer Alphabet Soup - LGBT+ Spoken Word - 19th February 2019 7pm

An evening of queer words from writers, poets and performance artists, with Isabel Waidner, Julia Bell, Zia Almos Yeshua, Holly Casio, Len Lukowski, Sogol Sur and Ashley Howard.
For more information on these participants, go to

Free entry, refreshments available

New Pride flag
New Pride flag

Come and meet our new manager

The next library public forum at Tate South Lambeth Library is on Saturday March 2nd 2019.

As is the regular pattern, the head of Lambeth’s library service – Susanna Barnes – will be there to talk about what is happening at the library and what is planned, and to answer questions and hear suggestions from the public.

This meeting will also give an opportunity to meet our new manager – Pauline Edole – and hear what she hopes to achieve.

Everyone is welcome – to ask questions and make their views known.

Lambeth Heritage Festival: The Murder of Mary Ashford

The murder of Mary Ashford - book by Naomi Clifford

London audiences venturing across Waterloo Bridge in May 1818 to the brand new Royal Coburg Theatre (later the Old Vic) were thrilled by a melodrama based on a shocking murder prosecution that had recently failed in the Court of King’s Bench. Naomi Clifford, whose latest book is The Murder of Mary Ashford, talks about a case that gripped and appalled the country and led to a change in English murder law.

Admission free. Refreshments are available.

This talk is part of the Lambeth Heritage Festival. Please note that this replaces the originally scheduled talk on Samuel Johnson and the darker side of 18th century Lambeth.

Just another Saturday at Tate South Lambeth

Lots of activity on a recent Saturday at Tate South Lambeth Library …!

Party time!

Friends of Tate South Lambeth Library will be holding our annual party, our traditional Pre-Burns Night celebration.

Wednesday 24th January

7pm Come along to the library and enjoy haggis, neeps and tatties (you’ll find out what they are) and whisky. Plus wine and entertainment. And friendly Friends to meet.

Robbie Burns Night (4288738216)
Serving suggestion (we won’t have pipers but there will be haggis)

Expect Scottish-themed readings, poetry, music, and entertainment. We can celebrate still having a library – and a revenue budget for the library through to 2019 and money for much-needed maintenance works.

But Friends will continue to campaign for the maintenance of full library service at Tate South Lambeth Library beyond March 2019.

As it’s a members only event, we ask that you renew your annual subscription (if you haven’t done so already for July 2017-June 2018) or take out a new one at the door. It’s only £3.

Visit numbers at TSL have doubled in just two years

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 – the enormous rise in the number and frequency of activities at the library, under the leadership of our manager, Maria Kwofie, supported by the hard work and commitment of the library team and local volunteers.

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?

London in Fragments coverThose figures were likely to be Thames beachcombers, called mudlarks, searching among the flints and gravel for fragments of London’s history. The River Thames is astonishingly generous with the bounty that it gives up to those who look for it.

Every community that lived by its banks has left traces in the river’s mud: Bronze Age swords, sacrificed to its waters; Roman pottery, broken and thrown away, and monumental statuary, iconoclastically disposed of; Tudor gold; Georgian pipes; Victorian everything.

Today’s mudlarks set out to find these traces, as they’re churned up by the Thames’ tides.


Do you fancy joining them? Or just finding out about the history found along the nearby river banks?

Come along to an illustrated talk by Ted Sandling, author of London in Fragments.

Michael Leapman, prolific writer and journalist – and a well-known local resident – will provide an introduction.

Wednesday February 8th  7pm (doors open at 6.30)

Admittance free. Refreshments available.

This talk is jointly organised by Friends of TSL and the Vauxhall Society.

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 received an offer of one hundred books. This was followed by a presentation on November 2nd on US politics, society and culture by Jennifer Williams, press officer at the embassy. The audience comprised over fifty Sixth Form students from two Lambeth schools: Archbishop Tenison and Dunraven. The presentation was interactive, with the students registering their perceptions and raising questions.

Jennifer Williams from the US embassy meets Kate Hoey MP and students from local schools.

The dialogue was enlightening for both sides. Kate Hoey, Vauxhall’s MP and a staunch supporter of libraries, came along to meet the speaker and the students.

We hope that further links will be forged with the US embassy and its staff in the years to come.

We are the Champions!

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 winner too.)

So thanks to everyone who sent Time Out your votes for TSL. And a big thanks to the staff and volunteers who make this library so welcoming, diverse – and special.

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 renew or take out a new one-year Friends membership subscription at the door. It’s only £3.

party-2016 Kennington Community Choir
Kennington Community Choir

And feel free to contribute food and drink to the party.