Space Chase – this year’s Summer Reading Challange

During the coming school holiday period the library will be running its regular Summer Reading Challenge – a programme aimed at children from 4 to 11 years. The “challenge” is straightforward and enjoyable: reading at least six library books (any sort of book – library staff will be on hand to help choose) and visiting the library regularly.

This year’s programme is entitled Space Chase.

To get started children sign up at the library. Then for each book they read, they will get a sticker, and those who complete the challenge get a medal.

Here’s the list of special activities the library is offering during this period, all on Thursdays, starting at 3pm, and all free of charge.

July 25th Blast Off!

Rocket and spaceship making to blast off into space

 August 1st Little Green Beings

Grow spider plants, mustard monsters and cress creatures in the library garden

August 8th Space Slime School

Make and take home your intergalactic space slime

August 15th Alien Disguises 

Get face painted into a Venus Princess, Mercury Villain or choose an old favourite

August 22nd Solar System Mobiles

Make the entire solar system in just one afternoon 

August 29th Chess Championship

Who will win the prize, donated by Friends of TSL?

September 7th Summer Party

Join us for fun, games and our awards ceremony for those who participated in and completed the Summer Reading Challenge. Children will be presented with certificates.

Full details of this programme, which is entirely free of charge, will be found in the leaflet  at the library desk. Places are limited, so booking is needed – at the desk or at 0207 926 0705.


Stock up on crime books for the summer holiday

Friends of Tate South Lambeth Library are selling crime fiction books and thrillers at the library on Saturday July 13th at 11am-4pm.

Pick up a bargain – books are priced at only £2-£3.

Never tried crime fiction? – why not enter the raffle for a stack of books for the whole family?

All proceeds will be used to buy equipment or materials for the library or to fund special activities.


Find out what’s happening at the library – and meet the new manager

Rita – our new manager

Saturday June 22nd is the date for the library’s public forum – where you can get an update on performance, plans and policies from the head of Lambeth’s library service, Susanna Barnes.

This is an opportunity for library users to raise questions, proposals – and complaints.

And you can get to know our new manager, Rita Chakraborty.

So come along to Tate South Lambeth library on June 22nd at 2-4pm.

It’s book sale time

On Saturday June 15th – from 10am to 4pm-  Friends of Tate South Lambeth Library will be running our annual book sale at the library.

Over 500 books donated by local people, supplemented by withdrawn library books, will be on sale, with all the proceeds used to buy equipment and materials to support the library’s services.

Friends’ book sales (of which this is the ninth so far) have been very successful, raising well over £1,000 for our library.

So we invite you to help us by:

  • donating books in good condition (drop them off at the library desk, by 4pm on Friday June 14th , in a bag or box labelled Friends book sale). The library will select suitable ones to go on the shelves, the rest will be put on sale
  • buying lots of books –all at bargain prices, with £1 (or three for £2) for  paperbacks ,  £3-5 for hardbacks ( with £8-10 for high-value specials) and 40p for children’s books ( or three for £1).

This year, weather allowing, we’ll put a stall outside the library, to catch passing traffic. The stall will include the updated and expanded version of The Oval Cookbook – a collection of recipes from people from 31 countries, who live or work in Oval, and the contributors’ personal stories. The proceeds of the book’s sale will go the Triangle Adventure Playground in Oval.


Our annual general meeting shows measured optimism

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.





A tip about a local event – from which Friends of TSL, and so the library, will benefit

The Heyday of Vauxhall Gardens

David Coke, co-author with Alan Borg of Vauxhall Gardens: A History, will lead a history walk through Vauxhall  on Monday May 20th.

This guided walk is organised by the Vauxhall Society/Vauxhallhistory.

Meet outside Starbucks, Vauxhall Station SW8 1SP at 2.30pm sharp, for  a walk that will last approximately one hour.

All are welcome but the organisers suggest a contribution of £5 to go to the Friends of Tate South Lambeth Library.  Thanks!



Member or not, come along to our Annual General Meeting

Friends’ annual general meeting will be held at the library on Wednesday May 22nd, starting at 6.30pm.

After the regular stuff  (reports from the chairman and the treasurer, the election of the committee for 2019/2020)  the meeting will discuss the outlook for Tate South Lambeth Library now that the prospect of it being replaced by a new, “town centre” library for the north of  the borough seems to be off the immediate agenda..

If you would like to propose other items for the agenda, please do so now –email or leave a note addressed to Friends of TSL at the library desk. Also please contact us if you’d like to stand for the committee. We are keen to have new members.


Family Business: A Memoir by Peter Conradi

Monday May 20th, 7pm (doors open at 6.30)

As part of  Lambeth Readers and Writers Festival Tate South Lambeth Library will be hosting  a talk by the author Peter Conradi on his new book – a memoir of an eventful life, both literary and personal.

About the author:

Peter Conradi was the authorised biographer of Iris Murdoch ( 2019 marks the centenary of her birth) and his memoir contains new material on her. His other published works include Going Buddhist (2004), At the Bright Hem of God (2009), and A Very English Hero : the Making of Frank Thompson (2012). He has also written or reviewed for the Times Literary Supplement, New Statesman, Financial Times, Spectator, Independent and Guardian, and appeared on programmes on Radio 3 and 4, and  BBC TV.


Great news about Tate South Lambeth library

Here’s some very good news about funding for Tate South Lambeth, in the words of the head of the libraries service, Susanna Barnes:

Lambeth has fully restored the funding for Tate South Lambeth and Durning Libraries and they are now provided for as part of the library and archive service budget. The Council recognises the huge contribution that libraries have made in delivering a range of services to the local community and the overall improvement of the service in the last few years and is keen to protect the service from further savings.

 Why is this good news?

Because it ends an uncertainty that had been hanging over Tate South Lambeth library for the past three years while it was being funded not from the overall libraries budget but through a separate, special allocation of money. So each year it was unclear whether that money would continue or the full public library service at TSL be allowed to fade away.

Now TSL is back within the budget for Lambeth Libraries – which Susanna’s words show have received  a vote of confidence from the Council.

Friends of TSL want to thank Susanna Barnes for running a library service that fully deserves recognition – and also Councillor Sonia Winifred (formerly  library manager at TSL and Durning) who as holder of the libraries portfolio has been a staunch supporter of the service at a difficult period for Council finances..

You can find out more from Susanna Barnes  at the next library  public forum, at Tate South Lambeth on Saturday March 2nd.

So come along on Saturday March 2nd  2-4pm.  Everyone is welcome – to ask questions and make their views known.