We want Carnegie Library to stay open!
By Johanna Böttcher (age 13) and Sarah Schonbach (age 12)
The building was a gift to the community as a library by Andrew Carnegie so that people could study, learn and thrive. The library beams today with students revising, children reading and toddlers playing and taking part in activities. Yesterday we had storytime in the garden. Many parents came with toddlers. This is an amazing place for everyone! Every Saturday there is a free chess club for all ages (there has been a total of 170 children learning chess). Today chess club was being played through the bars on the steps. Other clubs are creative writing, coding club, yoga club and much more.
I really don’t believe the library should close and become a gym especially as we are surrounded by gyms. If they really are as concerned about vulnerable people they should give them the opportunity to learn and have a quiet space to study.
Yesterday afternoon while I had gone home with a few friends to fetch some supplies Cathy Twist, a Lambeth Officer gave an order at the Library entrance to not let anyone who went out come back in. When we came back me ; Johanna (13), Sarah (12) and Imogen (9), they wouldn’t let us back to where our parents were. Cathy Twist said to my Mum something like “if you want to get to your children you have to come out, we won’t let them in”. Another Lambeth officer kept saying “we’ve got orders not to let anyone in”. The police started to get involved but they didn’t care and wouldn’t let us in either. Eventually when I turned to go home with my friends the security decided they couldn’t let a 13 year old girl and younger friends go to an empty house on their own and they finally let us in.
Today they decided to close the entry to the garden from inside the library; this would mean around 10 children running around between the shelves inside the building. Only after a long time negotiating did they back out and decide to guard the perimeter instead.
Despite the fact that we are fighting for the library we are also having a good time. So many people bring us food supplies, even the bakery down the road dropped four bags of bread off. We had a brilliant dinner together with people of ages ranging from 11 month old babies to seniors. It is a great atmosphere inside here the only things missing are the amazing librarians.