Formed in 1998, the Friends of West Hampstead Library (FoWHL) is a community organisation consisting of around 400 library users – mostly local residents but also people who work in West Hampstead or are passing through.
Our main aim is to ensure that the library remains open, as a library, and that, at a time of cuts, this core function is not subsumed by other activities in the building.
Like the library itself, membership of FoWHL is free
To become a FoWHL member and receive notice of all future events, or to send an email, click here
If you are not on email, keep an eye on the FoWHL noticeboard (by the lift, inside the library) or follow us on @FoWHLNW6
This month sees the departure of yet another longstanding member of the library staff at West Hampstead, Brendan Canty. Alas he is not alone.
Official figures published this month (March 2017) by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy reveal that since 2010, 8,000 librarians have been made redundant in England and Wales – 25% of the workforce – while the number of libraries has fallen by 340 since 2008. Book stocks, meanwhile, have dropped by 25m since 1996.
This is why FoWHL is doing all it can to work with Camden Council to make sure West Hampstead Library does not become just another statistic. If you are not already a member, why not? Click here to sign up!
WORLD BOOK DAY
To celebrate World Book Day on March 2nd. FoWHL launched a competition to win copies of Lower Second, a new book of poems by our Writer in Residence, Ted Booth (below). The winners – who all correctly identified Carol Ann Duffy as the current Poet Laureate – were Paul Guest, Clarence Jackman, Frieda Bier and Carmel Fitzgerald. Congratulations!
FoWHL AGM AND ELECTIONS
As a result of this year's AGM the FoWHL Committee has a new/old look. Back into the fray as Chair is local author Simon Inglis, who was FoWHL Chair from 1998-2004. Long serving Treasurer Alan Templeton has stood down after 18 years wonderful service. FoWHL also now has a new Secretary, albeit a familiar face in Jeannie Cohen, who has served several years as Chair. Jeannie replaces long serving Secretary Val Cedar. For more details of the elections and the AGM, click here.
LOVING THE LIBRARY
'I'm getting quite into blogging and crafts and wondered if there were any books in the library that might help. There were!'
Dr Liz Watts, West Hampstead resident and aspiring blogger
FULL HOUSE FOR JIM CARTER
For the first time since Stephen Fry's appearance in July 2001, the Friends had to put up the 'House Full' signs for the visit of local actor Jim Carter (above) on February 15.
A wonderful evening of anecdotes and memories ended with the announcement that Jim has kindly agreed to become a Patron of FoWHL.
For a full report of Jim's visit, click here.
NEW SWIPE CARD ENTRY TO START IN JANUARY 2017
Library users in West Hampstead should be aware that a new swipe-card entry system is scheduled to start operating early in 2017.
Under this new system, entry to the library at certain hours will be possible only by swiping one's library card through a reader at the main door.
This new 'open access' system is part of Camden's efforts to save £800,000 from the annual library budget, whilst keeping all branches open.
For more details of how the new system will work, click here.
USE IT OR LOSE IT WARNING
Whether we like it or not, the survival of West Hampstead library will depend ultimately on the numbers of people who go into the library and take out books. On our News Page, FoWHL Treasurer Alan Templeton, who is also chair of the Camden Public Libraries Users Group (CPLUG) reveals the stats behind the message.
• Please note this website supersedes our previous website at www.fowhl.co.uk