St James St Library Campaign


we need your help urgently!
November 30, 2007, 5:31 pm
Filed under: campaigning

if you could print off a few of the flyers that are here and stick them up/distribute them anywhere you fancy, asap, that would be great! we’ve all been so busy digging into the council’s misdeeds and getting press coverage that we could really do with a bit of extra help publicising the festive fun day/protest outside st james st this saturday , 8th, at 2pm.

also just to say that i have updated the ‘but what can i do’ page and also written a new page on ‘guidance on complaining to the council‘ (see links on left). hope it makes sense, feel free to leave feedback!



Council admits mass cull and destroying books
November 29, 2007, 11:05 am
Filed under: campaigning, libraries, press coverage

The scandal continues on p2 of the WF Guardian and all across the letters page and editorial. The journalist has done a great job of forcing answers out of the council that they weren’t prepared to give to us, despite months of trying.

Hope you will forgive the following little rant – I’m so angry! The Council, whilst pleading poverty, chucks loads of money at overpaid senior managers, expensive consultants, way over budget capital projects, and rubbish computer catalogue & security systems, whilst sacking experienced librarians. The result, not surprisingly, is that libraries are not properly managed, and book purchasing, shelf space, visits and book borrowing all drop sharply. But rather than working to improve this, the council then destroys all books (including valuable ones) that have not been borrowed in a while, and loses loads too. And because they’ve wasted so much money through their total lack of understanding of what libraries do, and don’t, need, they also end up closing libraries like St James St, and reducing staff and actual opening hours further borough-wide.

This is a matter of serious concern to other boroughs, too. If this scandal had occurred just a few months later, we probably wouldn’t have been able to uncover it. Thanks to the wisdom of central government, councils are no longer required to report on how many library books they have – only on things like ‘books borrowed as a proportion of book stock’ (so if you have fewer books, this ‘performance indicator’ will improve)…

You have to wonder if at this rate, there’ll be any books or librarians left in libraries at all, unless we take further action… watch this space! We still haven’t given up on getting St James St re-opened, either – come along on the Sat 8th and show support!



Festive Fun Day – Saturday 8th December 2pm
November 22, 2007, 1:54 pm
Filed under: campaigning, library, walthamstow

Dear friends,

The St James St Library Campaign is organising a Festive Fun Day outside St James St Library at 2pm on Saturday 8th December. Activities for all the family will include face painting, an appearance from Big Brother’s Carol, a bookswap (bring a book to swap), a mass ‘decoration’ of the library, and more – come along, take a break from Christmas shopping, and show the council what you think about their closure of our library!

Tell your friends – here is a leaflet that you can download and either print off or send round on email.

If you would like to help organise the festive fun day, there is an organising meeting this Thursday 22nd November at 7.30pm in Blackhorse Rd Baptist Church, Baptist Rd.

The council seems to be increasingly on the back foot over libraries – let’s keep the pressure on!



Were 250,000 library books BURNED?
November 22, 2007, 10:46 am
Filed under: campaigning, libraries, press coverage

Front page of today’s WF Guardian here



Update from Community Council meeting
November 20, 2007, 4:16 pm
Filed under: campaigning, libraries

Lots of great library-related questions posed to councillors at last night’s West Walthamstow Community Council meeting – both by Campaign members and by other concerned local residents. Questions were raised about dramatically reduced
bookstock, closures and staff shortages borough-wide, appointments, the future of the building, the ridiculous options that have so far been suggested as library alternatives (letter boxes, computer terminals, doctors receptionists acting as homework supervisors…) etc.

The Cabinet member (Cllr Geraldine Reardon) who admittedly walked into this mess fairly recently didn’t answer questions but agreed to come back with answers. The issue of the appointment of the head of libraries has been referred to the Overviewand Scrutiny committee to investigate.



pressure mounting over library closure
November 20, 2007, 1:59 pm
Filed under: press coverage

Hi folks,

Just a quick link here and here to a couple of news stories that have appeared in the local press lately. We are stepping up the pressure on the Council following our meeting with the leader Clyde Loakes. If anyone has any good press or media contacts (local or national) , please let us know by emailing stjamesstlibrary@googlemail.com – thanks!



Packed meeting sends strong message to council
November 3, 2007, 6:13 pm
Filed under: campaigning, libraries, walthamstow

An excellent meeting today of the St James St library campaign was attended by over 100 people from the local area, and addressed by speakers including Michael Rosen, the Children’s Poet Laureate, and local residents and library staff. More later – but thanks loads to everyone who came. Remember:

Come to the organising meeting on 15th November at Blackhorse Rd Baptist Church, 7.30pm to plan the next steps in the campaign.

Email your views to: leader@walthamforest.gov.uk – the leader, clyde loakes, is the one who has overall responsibility for the decision and can authorise the library to re-open in its existing building. it is also a good idea to ask them specific questions, as well as expressing your views – ask them to explain their actions, what they are going to do now, and ask for specific facts and figures.

copy in your ward councillors – in high street, they are cllr.liaquat.ali@lbwf.gov.uk,cllr. james.o’rourke@lbwf.gov.uk, cllr.johar.khan@lbwf.gov.uk. (the first is labour, the latter two are lib dem. the council is run by a coalition of labour and liberals at the moment. ). all councillors and council officials are supposed to respond within 5 days but you may have to chase them to answer your questions fully – or turn up at their surgeries!

tell your friends, colleagues and family – & keep in touch!

more later!

thanks again

caroline