LAMBETH librarians walked out yesterday after the local authority refused to listen to workers and followed its plan to turn libraries into gyms.
The all-out unofficial strike was called by Lambeth libraries Unison members, who also organised a protest outside a council meeting that evening.
Staff locked themselves out in a bid to save Minet, Waterloo, South Lambeth, Carnegie and Upper Norwood libraries from being sold or converted into gyms run by community services provider Greenwich Leisure Limited.
A worker on strike said: “These proposals are not driven by financial necessity; the money is there to keep all 10 Lambeth libraries open.
“The council would like people to forget that they stated that they had £500,000 available in the culture budget for preventative health work.
“We are angry that the council will not listen and we will do everything in our power to save our service.”
In response to the day’s closures, council cabinet member for neighbourhoods Cllr Jane Edbrooke said: “This unofficial industrial action is unhelpful and counterproductive.”