Archive for February, 2011

People of New Cross occupy their threatened public library.

February 5, 2011

At 5 pm today, sat 5th feb, a group of about 30-50 local people from New Cross, South East London, who were taking part in a ‘read in’, decided that they wanted to continue the protest against council plans to stop funding the library by staying overnight.

James Holland of The Save New Cross Library Campaign, said “Local people made it absolutely clear that they want the library to stay open in council organised consultation meetings and with over 5000 signatures on a petition, in response the council has simply delayed and re-packaged their plan, so we are taking action that we hope it will be impossible to ignore.”

He continued, “The mayor’s new PR strategy is to claim to have ‘saved the library’ by transferring it to the community, but we are not fooled. Even if they satisfy huge concerns over who they might transfer it to, they must also give us the money we need to run it properly. The library costs only slightly more than the mayors salary (and significantly less than any of the executive directors), yet any transfer that doesn’t continue this funding will be no better than a cynical exercise to shift the blame for the eventual closure. ”

Earlier in the day the ‘read in’ featured music from Sly and Reggie, readings, discussions, poetry and The University of Strategic Optimism. Read ins were also happening at all the threatened libraries in Lewisham and many others across the country.
it was during discussions on the future of the library and what people could do to prevent the planned huge reduction in funding that the idea of occupying came up, after a lively discussion most people decided that they supported the idea (although some said that they were not able to stay themselves). People are currently discussing practicalities with staff.

Contact 07905 685 906
communityactionlewisham@gmail.com

notes to editors

New Cross Library is at 283-285 New Cross Rd, London SE14 6AS

Sly and Reggie – http://www.thesuburbanpirate.com/

UfSO http://universityforstrategicoptimism.wordpress.com/

See here for more about what the idea of the ‘read in ‘ http://www.voicesforthelibrary.org.uk/wordpress/?page_id=802

Save New Cross Library facebook group http://tinyurl.com/6zvdhbw