Who are we? The Friends of the Durning Library is a voluntary organisation whose aims are to promote and support the development of the Durning Library in Kennington and to assist in the provision of its services to the community.
The Friends’ organisation was set up in 1999 following a proposal by Lambeth Council to close five of the nine council-run libraries in the borough, including the Durning. That proposal provoked widespread public outrage and led to a borough-wide campaign to keep the libraries open. There were petitions, numerous meetings and a march to the Town Hall which led directly to the formation of an umbrella organisation, the Friends of Lambeth Libraries, to coordinate the efforts to save the threatened libraries. The campaign succeeded in saving three of the five libraries threatened with closure, including the Durning.
There were several Kennington residents and Durning members among the leaders of the campaign and one of the numerous petitions presented to the council was from the Durning, with four thousand signatures – a measure of the extent of support for the library within the local community. When the campaign was over and the Durning saved, it was decided that the informal group which had coordinated the campaign should stay in existence to continue to support the library and its work for the local community.
The ‘Friends of the Durning Library’ was formally constituted in the summer of 1999 and has been in existence ever since.The current officers and committee were elected at the 2015 AGM on 20 April 2015 and are listed below.
Chairman: Priscilla Baines
Treasurer: Jeremy Orme
Secretary: Kay Coombs
Members: Elizabeth Barrott, Ruth Briant, Eleanor Halsall, Veronica Ledwith, Val Parker, Laura Swaffield, David Tisdall