Friends of TSL held their annual general meeting, at the library, on May 22nd .
The chairman’s annual report reaffirmed Friends’ commitment to campaigning for the maintenance of a full public service library at the Tate South Lambeth building. The report highlighted the threat represented by current Lambeth Council plans to set up a new “town centre” library elsewhere in the north of the borough and the downgrading of our library to a “neighbourhood” library along the lines currently in place at three other sites in Lambeth. (This is a library facility confined to one room in a mixed use building, and with professional library staff in place only two hours per day.) Friends are seeking a commitment from the Council to maintain funding at current levels at least until the 2022 date envisaged for the coming into operation of the North Lambeth library.
Library management and staff were thanked for their energy, hard work and friendliness. A vote of thanks was also accorded to Lino Diogo and his team of teachers – all unpaid volunteers- in the Basic English classes at the library.
The treasurer’s report showed a substantial increase in our income last year, while spending remained steady. This boosted our bank balance by around £3,380 to £4,858 at end March 2018. The rise in income reflected support for library activities from Castle House Sheltered Scheme and the Vauxhall Society and the award of a grant from the London Community Foundation for the English classes for Portuguese speakers.
In voting for the committee for 2018/19 the following were elected:
Chairman Edith Holtham
Vice-chairman Laura Swaffield
Secretary Philip Inglesant
Treasurer John McCay
Membership secretary Helen Holmes
Other members Jana Hale, Lyn Robbins and Ben Rymer
A special for this AGM – a presentation by the libraries’ head of service
Susanna Barnes, the head of Lambeth Libraries and Archives, presented an encouraging run down of the service’s performance over the past year, when Tate South Lambeth recorded higher than the overall service rates of growth in borrowing and new membership.
Even more encouraging was the list of innovations that have been or are shortly to be introduced, including at Tate South Lambeth. The list set out by Ms Barnes included: PressReader (online access at the library to 7,000 newspapers and magazines from 120 countries in over 50 languages); an online business information service, in partnership with the British Library, providing help for start-ups; a 3D printer; Tovertafel ( a visual tool for people with dementia); and the Holiday Hunger Project, proving food over school holiday periods for disadvantaged children. All except the printer free of charge. In addition new computers will be installed at TSL in September-October.