Generous locals have helped raise £2,400 for the New Cross People’s Library at a charity auction.
The library, run by local volunteers since being given the axe by Lewisham council in May, was sent a utilities bill of £20,000 earlier this month. As reported by EastLondonLines in an earlier article, they are in desperate need of funding.
More than 100 people turned up on Saturday evening to place their bids. A painting by Goldsmiths alumni and newly appointed Keeper at the Royal Academy Eileen Cooper was sold for £450. The Hobgoblin pub on New Cross Road donated three cases of Hobgoblin ale which sold for £30. A lunch for two at Madison’s Express, also on New Cross Road, was sold for £20.
Vice-chair of the library Kathy Dunbar, 56, said: “The auction was a big success. We’ll be doing another one next year and it will be bigger and better.”
“We have no choice but to keep the library running. We couldn’t let all these people down. A lot of people in the area don’t have things like the internet at home. Why should they be deprived?”
Despite funding issues, the library continues to go from strength to strength. There are an estimated 1000 more visitors a month since the takeover, and plans for self-issue machines and IT workshops are underway. Users will soon be able to reserve books from other libraries.
Dunbar added: “It has been a lot livelier than when it was run by the council. All our volunteers are local and a part of the community. We have had a lot of support.”
Although they receive council funding, and have recently won a competition with BT awarding them free broadband for a year, more money is always needed to keep the library going.
Next on the fundraising agenda is a Christmas Fair on Sunday Dec 11 at 1pm.