Lambeth want to transfer the management of libraries to voluntary groups and organisations as part of their “co-operative” plans, which could save the borough money and put residents in charge of leading their own services.
But some residents and libraries’ friends groups fear the co-production scheme is way for the council to make drastic spending cuts to libraries and let the voluntary organisations that run them take the blame for cutting services.
A Lambeth council spokesman said: “We know that we have to work within our budgets but our view is that we can create an exciting service that is really useful for everyone.
“Our journey to becoming a cooperative council is about giving you the power to decide how things are run and also about who runs them.”
Spending for the nine libraries in Lambeth will fall from £3,057,000 in 2011/12 to £2,056,000 in 2012/13 and £1,656,000 in 2013/14. These figures do not include any provision for major works or repairing of library building, and neither do they guarantee any funding beyond 2014.
The consultation over the plans will last until 20 April, and public events will be held in all nine libraries, including Brixton library on 30 March 10am until midday and 11 April, from 7pm until 9pm.