St James St Library Campaign


a valentine for st james library
February 7, 2008, 8:10 pm
Filed under: campaigning, library, local voices, walthamstow
A big thank-you to everyone who came and helped make Saturday’s St James
Street open-air library event another success, and a welcome to all new
supporters. To all those who publicised it, helped set it up, ran the
stalls, spent ages preparing, swapped books, donated goods, made music,
expressed your good wishes or added your names to our supporters’ list:
thanks, all of you, and we look forward to next time. Same time, same
place, outside the library in Coppermill Lane, 1 March 2008.Some people asked for leaflets to give out at other events they go to.
This is an excellent way to publicise our events, so I’ve attached a
flyer that can be printed out and copied.Many people asked if the bookswap was every Saturday. We had to tell
them it’s only the first Saturday of the month at present — but as
the weather gets better, who knows? Saturday was freezing cold, but as the
wind and rain held off it was the most comfortable event so far.
Especially for those of us who forgot to bring gloves last time but
remembered this time … And as we’ve survived deepest winter weather
already, we can hope it will be even warmer next time.

The best thing, along with being thanked so often for providing books
in a book-starved area, was the fun we had. So many interesting people,
fascinating books to browse while taking a tea break, wonderful music
(thanks, Russ and Jim) and the great feeling of community and
solidarity.

One visitor asked for audio books; can anyone get us some for next
time? A new element was the video stall, as one kind supporter donated
what must have been her whole video library – I’m delighted with picking up Lord of the Rings. I was impressed by the high
quality of books we’ve been given, too. More than one customer said the
range was better than in the dumbed-down Walthamstow Central library!
As always, lots of passers-by were excited because they thought the\u003cbr /\u003elibrary was reopening, then of course looked terribly disappointed.That always makes me feel sad. One elderly chap who used to spend a lot\u003cbr /\u003eof time browsing in the library said today \u0026quot;It gets very lonely sitting\u003cbr /\u003eat home\u0026quot;. As with all the children who coloured in Sarah\’s handmade\u003cbr /\u003eValentine\’s hearts today and stuck them on the library windows — these\u003cbr /\u003epeople deserve better and are worth campaigning for.\u003cbr /\u003e\u003cbr /\u003eYou probably know that our councillors voted last year to close St\u003cbr /\u003eJames Street to save £70,000 a year, while voting payrises for\u003cbr /\u003ethemselves totalling £230,000 a year. Though the council claimed they\u003cbr /\u003ehad been underpaid before, they were in fact paid pretty much the\u003cbr /\u003eLondon average. If you want to ask them to reopen the library, you can\u003cbr /\u003econtact the three local councillors for this (High Street) ward:\u003cbr /\u003e\u003ca onclick\u003d\”return top.js.OpenExtLink(window,event,this)\” href\u003d\”mailto:cllr.liaquat.ali@walthamforest.gov.uk\”\u003ecllr.liaquat.ali@walthamforest\u003cwbr /\u003e.gov.uk\u003c/a\u003e (Labour)\u003cbr /\u003eCllr.James.O\’\u003ca onclick\u003d\”return top.js.OpenExtLink(window,event,this)\” href\u003d\”mailto:Rourke@walthamforest.gov.uk\”\u003eRourke@walthamforest.gov.uk\u003c/a\u003e (Lib Dem),\u003cbr /\u003e\u003ca onclick\u003d\”return top.js.OpenExtLink(window,event,this)\” href\u003d\”mailto:cllr.johar.khan@walthamforest.gov.uk\”\u003ecllr.johar.khan@walthamforest\u003cwbr /\u003e.gov.uk\u003c/a\u003e (Lib Dem)\u003cbr /\u003e\u003cbr /\u003eor Clyde Loakes, the leader of the council, at\u003cbr /\u003e\u003ca onclick\u003d\”return top.js.OpenExtLink(window,event,this)\” href\u003d\”mailto:leader@walthamforest.gov.uk\”\u003eleader@walthamforest.gov.uk\u003c/a\u003e\u003cbr /\u003e\u003cbr /\u003eor find councillors for other wards at\u003cbr /\u003e\u003ca onclick\u003d\”return top.js.OpenExtLink(window,event,this)\” href\u003d\”http://www1.walthamforest.gov.uk/moderngov/\” target\u003d_blank\u003ehttp://www1.walthamforest.gov\u003cwbr /\u003e.uk/moderngov/\u003c/a\u003e\u003cbr /\u003emgMemberIndex.asp?FN\u003dPARTY\u0026amp;VW\u003dLIST\u0026amp;J\u003d1\u003cbr /\u003e\u003cbr /\u003eDo contact us if you have any thoughts or questions. Looking forward to\u003cbr /\u003eseeing you next time,\u003cbr /\u003e\u003cbr /\u003eAll best wishes,\u003cbr /\u003e\u003c/div\u003e”,1] ); //–>
As always, lots of passers-by were excited because they thought the
library was reopening, then of course looked terribly disappointed.
That always makes me feel sad. One elderly chap who used to spend a lot
of time browsing in the library said today “It gets very lonely sitting
at home”. As with all the children who coloured in our handmade
Valentine’s hearts today and stuck them on the library windows — these
people deserve better and are worth campaigning for.

You probably know that our councillors voted last year to close St
James Street to save £70,000 a year, while voting payrises for
themselves totalling £230,000 a year. Though the council claimed they
had been underpaid before, they were in fact paid pretty much the
London average. If you want to ask them to reopen the library, you can
contact the three local councillors for this (High Street) ward:
cllr.liaquat.ali@walthamforest.gov.uk (Labour)
Cllr.James.O’Rourke@walthamforest.gov.uk (Lib Dem),
cllr.johar.khan@walthamforest.gov.uk (Lib Dem)

or Clyde Loakes, the leader of the council, at
leader@walthamforest.gov.uk

or find councillors for other wards here

Do contact us if you have any thoughts or questions. Looking forward to
seeing you next time!




tell council to budget now to re-open st james st
December 3, 2007, 8:14 pm
Filed under: campaigning, libraries, local voices, walthamstow

The council is finalising its budget and voting very shortly (i think on 12th Dec). Here is the text of a letter the Campaign sent to all councillors today, especially Clyde Loakes, Geraldine Reardon and Keith Rayner. (copied also to the local paper and our current MP Neil Gerrard and prospective MP Stella Creasy). Now is a great time to urge the council to spend their money wisely!!!



what the local children really think – their future at stake?
August 23, 2007, 3:34 pm
Filed under: campaigning, libraries, local voices, walthamstow

children hodling petition I miss St James Library – I used go to the library every Monday with school. I used to like hearing the people read us a story.

It’s boring without the library. I wish I could go there still.

Re-open our library because I can just pop round there. 

Please re-open our library because I love reading all the books. 

I thi k the new library is boring. St James’ Library was my favourite one. It takes me ages to find good books. I really enjoyed the books they gave and I was planning to get some more books from the library. I really miss St James’ Library 

I go to Kelmscott in year 8. I used to do a lot of my research in there. I hope you can reopen it!!

I use the library all the time and also little children need it to learn.



What are people saying?
August 23, 2007, 2:32 pm
Filed under: campaigning, libraries, local voices, walthamstow

I have been a resident of Walthamstow for 35 years and I have 6 children who have and are using the library, it would be tragic for the library to close. We will not stop campaigning until the library is re-opened.Mazhar Iqbal 

I have two children age 5 and 10 who used the library regularly but now they have to be accompanied to the main library. I strongly urge for it to be left open. Also my farther is 85 and he used it – it gave him opportunity and a bit of a reason to come out of the house.Zahoor Ahmed 

I have been going down to the library for over 30 years and it is a vital necessity for all people of all ages and creeds and is very popular. Mrs M Knight 

I have a son of 12 years old. This library is very important to me to use as the high street library is too far to use.Mr M. Hussain 

Old Age pensioners have a long way to walk up to central.Raymond Ball, aged 75. 

It’s got the only disabled access toilet at this end of the high street.S. Eyles 

I’ve been using it since it was converted from a Post Office.Mr L. Knight 

The library helped me a lot when I just arrived to the country. I didn’t know the neighbourhood at all and I got all what I needed from it – information, culture, leisure.  It is such a shame to close it because it would have helped a lot of people like it did me.Lamia Berra 

I have got a 2 year old son and this library was local and easy for us to use, central library may be in the high street but taking a 2 year old can be hardNaila Mahmood 

I have been using that library for over 6 years with my family and we miss it very much.J. Ilson, mother of 2 boys 

Who thought of the elderly people in the area of St James’ St Library when the closure was made? My neighbours and myself being elderly thought St James’ Street was very important.J. Taylor 

The library has been a very useful and welcome resource in our neighbourhood, it is close to Coppermill School and myself and my children used it regularly. The library at the top of the market is too far for after school casual use and because of that we hardly use it at all. Also, personally, I feel that after the refurbishment the stock of books has been disappointing and it seems the shelves are flooded with paperbacks and very little in the way of more ambitious writing.D. Zdral 

Please do not close our library. It is very convenient for me to use. I get a lot of study days in my profession. I do get books and I use the internet and it is very good and quiet.Jackie James 

My grandchildren used it on a regular basis and now they won’t get no good stories.Ray Dobson 

The St James’ Street Library was always staffed by friendly and helpful people who always did their best to get the books I requested. I never thought of going all the way down the High Street if I quickly wanted a book.David Hall 

Save our library. It’s one of the one places where so many people come together from different backgrounds and beliefs to enjoy themselves whilst expanding their minds.Emma Barlow 

My son used the library until recently. It is particularly important for children to be able to use a library and have access to books and storytelling. Also, the small community room at the back is a useful community resource for small local groups – our Management Committee has used it several times, and also various courses were held there.Sheila Tomkins 

My little girl used to love going to the library club. Reading books opens doors for children and for many children the nearest library is too far.Unsigned 

Was not consulted by the Council regarding closure of St James’ St Library. It’s the library for newspaper reading, computer use and consultation with local councillors. Not very happy to see it closed.E. Mahmud 

Every Thursday, my father would take my sister & I to the library in Coppermill Lane & then onto the sweet shop in station Rd afterwards. We must have been no more than 11 or 12 years old. It’s a shame that a place so important to my and others childhood memories should close.C. Leyton 

My sons, now 14 and 10, have enjoyed using the library for a long time and have been able to visit the library by themselves. The central library is too far for them to go alone.M. L. Jeffs 

My children have used the library regularly since babyhood. My older sons both used the library independently to borrow books ands cassettes and on occasion for reference purposes for homework. The younger one cannot safely go up the High Street to the Central Library, which in any case has a poor selection of books and cassettes for children and teenagers. We urge you to reconsider your decision.Sarah Wellard 

Have had great pleasure in taking my grand-daughter to this library as I am unable to walk very far. What a bad decision to close this excellent facility.S. M. Carr We always had a really good time at the library – it was a very comfortable place to go & read and use the computers. It’s sad to see it’s closedS. Fajn 

We’re told community prevents kids turning to crime etc, but the community event keep being closed – keep community places open so kids have got somewhere to go!  Lisa I was a regular user of this library & I am very upset that we were neither consulted nor given any notice.Chris Thomas 

As a family with 2 working parents we have precious little time to spend at the library in St James’ Street, which is our nearest library. The main library is too far away & quite frankly we would not wish to visit it as we would have to walk past all the shops and end up spending time & money in shops instead. Please re-open St James’ street Library!Signed, but illegible 

I have been going down to the library for over 30 years and it is a necessity for all people of all ages and creeds and is very popular.M. Knight 

I have 2 small children and St James’ Street Library was easy and enjoyable. My daughter is just getting to the age where children enjoy many different picture books. I really didn’t know this was going to happen until the day it was shutting.Claire Tanstey 

Consultation? We went to return some books and found the library shut (ie: closed down!).The was the forst we knew about the closure. The ‘audio-book’ lending section was very popular with our son, and will be missed by his sister.H. Lognin 

Libraries are essential to learning and building decent communities. It’s a crime to shut any place like this down. What about parents, kids, and the elderly. How can they get to a library over a mile away?Pav Alum

 What do you think about the closure of St James library?  We want to know! Leave a comment below.