Friends of TSL held their annual general meeting, at the library, on May 31st .
The chairman’s annual report highlighted the tremendous performance of our library in the year since it was saved from conversion to a gym with minimal library provision. In the twelve months ending March 31st 2017 the number of visits reached 192,595, one fifth up on the year before and double the figure just two years earlier. It was the fourth busiest public library in Lambeth, outranked only by three of the much bigger and better resourced “town centre” libraries.
And in late 2016 TSL won a Time Out Love London award as top of the local culture category in our neighbourhood – the only library to do so in South London.
These results are all the more gratifying in that TSL gets very limited resources from the Council and very little interest or backing from councillors (with one exception). At the same time they strengthen the commitment of Friends of TSL to keep this a full-service public library, even as library funding is squeezed. So the focus of our campaign has been to secure confirmation that Council funding will continue after the end of the current financial year – ie March 31st 2018 – and that whatever the still nebulous plans to set up a town centre library in the north of the borough TSL is not marked for demotion or closure.
Library management and staff were thanked for their energy, initiative, hard work and friendliness.
The treasurer’s report showed a slight improvement in our bank balance last year, by just under £200 to £1,477. A contributory factor was the success of the library manager in securing donations from local businesses (including developers at Vauxhall) channelled through Friends of TSL to fund special, community-oriented events at the library.
In voting for the committee for 2017/18 the following were elected:
Chairman Edith Holtham:
Vice-chairman Laura Swaffield
Secretary Philip Inglesant
Treasurer John McCay
Membership secretary (interim) Helen Holmes
Other members Jana Hale and Ben Rymer
All of these were re-elections. The chairman stressed that we are very keen to bring new members on to the committee – either taking over existing posts (notably membership secretary) or bringing in new responsibilities. In addition the chairman has had to reduce her commitments to the basic roles of chairing meetings and editing the monthly newsletter, so an immediate vacancy exists for an events organiser .