Strike Action ballots have been sent by Unison, the trade union, to all library staff in response to the council’s proposals. The Union says these proposals would decommission five out of the ten Lambeth libraries.
“Library workers and Unison rep, Ruth Cashman said: “ The council’s proposals are extraordinarily bad – they are being legally challenged on the basis of consultation, equalities considerations and whether they deliver the minimum statutory library service. Library workers will stand with our communities to protect the service we love.
“Literacy has tangible relationships with educational attainment, economic well-being, aspirations, family circumstances, physical and mental health as well as civic and cultural participation.”
“Even if libraries didn’t achieve all these outcomes. If it didn’t reap massive social benefits in terms of health, education and employment, I’d still be asking you to save our libraries. Because people enjoy reading and we shouldn’t have to justify every moment of our existence and pleasures in life by how much money someone can make or can save. We have the right to a bit of humanity – to find things out, to get lost in stories. Books are where you can learn to be brave by meeting scary monsters who you can turn the page on; where you learn empathy by having other people’s feeling laid out for you, where you learn the world is not always as it has been and that it can change. What you read and have read, effect the kind of parent, friend or lover you’ll be and teach you all kind of skills you don’t even know you are learning.
“We will use every method at our disposal, including strike action, to stop the Council making this terrible error.”