Lewisham Library set to reopen after surprise closure

By Robert Firth, Local Democracy Reporter

A library which was shut for a month will reopen after its sudden closure left residents fearing it had closed for good.

Lewisham Library has been shut since December 9, 2022, with little explanation.

An A4 sheet taped to the library’s entrance blamed the sudden closure on “unforeseen circumstances,” and said it would be shut “until further notice.”

A sign stuck to the entrance of Lewisham Library (Picture: David Hull)

Book lovers were left puzzled by the sign – with some worried that the library’s future was under threat.

One resident said it looked like the library had “finally closed for good” due to the sign plastered to its door, in a post on social media.

Others were left not knowing when they could next collect books the library had in stock because of the lack of information.

In a post on Twitter, one woman asked the council’s library service, “Do you have any idea when the library will open again? The books I want are at Lewisham so I can’t go to another branch.”

Another resident fumed: “Labour-run Lewisham library closed for several weeks “due to unforeseen circumstances”. No idea when it will re-open…”

But now Lewisham council has finally revealed the reason for the sudden closure – a broken heating system.

It confirmed the library, in Lewisham High Street, will reopen to the public on Monday, January 9, after officials found a “solution” to the problem.

A council spokesman said: “Lewisham Library was closed due to a broken heating system. We have commissioned a solution and the library will re-open next Monday, January 9.”

Lewisham Library was one of the council’s ‘Warm Welcome spaces’ – places locals can go during the day to keep warm if they can’t afford to keep their own homes heated through winter.

Until the library reopens next week, Lewisham’s website suggests people go to Manor House Library or Glass Mill Leisure Centre if they are looking for a place to get warm.

The council added that Manor House had a “good selection of books” for people to borrow a,nd apologised for any “inconvenience” caused by the library’s temporary closure.

Pictured top: Lewisham Library closed with little explanation (Picture: David Hull)

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