At the 2019 annual general meeting, held on May 22nd, the chairman – Edith Holtham – reported that the short- and medium- term outlook for Tate South Lambeth Library looked more positive than it did 12 months earlier.
Funding for our library, which had been covered by special allocations whose maintenance was not certain, has been re-incorporated into the overall Lambeth libraries budget. At the same time Lambeth Council is no longer actively discussing the replacement of our library by a single “town centre library” for the north of the borough. These developments are seen as maintaining the status of Tate South Lambeth as a full-service library, at least for the short and medium term, as against the demotion to a one-room, largely unstaffed “neighbourhood library”, that was threatened in 2016.
The past year has seen a new strand in Friends’ campaign against such demotion, with a week-long monitoring by volunteers of how many people enter the library and their interaction with staff. This confirmed the vital importance of the constant presence of professional library staff.