Thursday, February 25, 2010

Celebrating East Greenwich Library

On Monday, I went along to the celebration of East Greenwich Library's 105th Anniversary. It was organised by the Friends of East Greenwich Library group, who some years ago mounted a campaign to prevent its closure. The library was built as a gift to the people of Greenwich by Andrew Carnegie in 1905, a great tribute to the tradition of philanthropy in this country. The Friends are now campaigning for the Council to provide funds to renovate the historic building, including dealing with its faulty drains.

It was a really good evening, with a speech on the area's history from ward Councillor Mary Mills, readings, and performances by a group of fantastically talented students from Greenwich Community college. The singers could have put many an X Factor contestant to shame, and it's great to see such talent on show locally. Above all, though, it was a reminder of the central role local libraries can play in the life of our communities, and I hope they will continue to do so. The trend towards centralising them in larger centres (as the Council favours) risks ignoring that important role.

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