As an old member of the Dulwich Society and a Friend of the Carnegie Library I should like to say a few words on the subject.
The Carnegie Library, as everyone will know, is just over the border in Lambeth, but is used by many Dulwich residents, and those who do not use it may well hold it in some regard.
We are all aware of the threat to libraries and the situation in Lambeth is no exception. However, the librarians and the Friends of the library have devised financial proposals which, they believe, will enable the institution to continue as initially intended. Up to this moment, the council have not been willing to discuss these solutions. Instead, they have devised a scheme which involves closing the library and inviting a private company to change the building into a fee paying gym.
To my knowledge, as well as providing the normal services, the library serves a variety of valuable social functions in the neighbourhood. The local people do not want a gym. Yet the council has now closed the building, prior to expensive reconstruction work. No plans have been made available.
The feelings of the local people are so strong on this issue that, following a meeting on April 1st, some 40 people remained behind, now locked inside, determined to occupy the building until the council agrees to discuss the whole situation.
I do believe that many liberal minded members of the Dulwich Society will wish to support the librarians and Friends of the Carnegie Library in their struggle for what they believe is right.
David Smart (as it happens, a founder member of the Dulwich Society)