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Staff at the newly refurbished Leyton library told volunteer there is no space for community leaflets
The founder of a community group said she was "flabbergasted" after being told she was not allowed to leave leaflets in a public library.
Ros Kane, organiser and founder of the Leytonstone-based News from Nowhere Club, visited Leyton Library in High Road last week following its recent £1million refurbishment, only to be told by staff there was "no space for community leaflets".
Ms Kane said she has been able to leave promotional information in libraries since the group, which hosts discussions guest speakers, formed 19 years ago.
But she said she has now been told only council leaflets are permitted.
She said: "I went to offer our latest calendar of events and found, not only that we could not use the notice board, but that non-council leaflets of any kind were not being accepted, even on file.
"I was absolutely flabbergasted. This is the first time I have ever been told my leaflets are not welcome.
“We’re volunteers, we’re not looking for commercial gain.
"The role of the library is to be an information point but they want the library to look neat and tidy.
“There's no excuse, they have lots of space."
Lord Peter Hennessy, a prominent historian, is a member of the club and he believes a place must be reserved in libraries for community information.
He said: "A sense of community is a precious gift in any locality and Waltham Forest has a fine record in seeking to develop and sustain such a spirit in our Borough.
“A special place for community leaflets in Leyton Library must surely be a part of this."
Voluntary Action Waltham Forest, an umbrella organisation working to support the voluntary and community sector in the borough, agrees.
Information officer Sarah Kinson said it is vitally important residents are given access to information in public buildings.
She said: "Ros is totally justified in complaining about this. All groups should be able to share their community leaflets at the library.
"The library is a central hub for valuable information and it is vitally important for groups to use this public space to reach communities that don't have access to the internet.”
The club offers a series of monthly discussions with guest speakers for events held once a month on Saturday evening at the Epicentre in West Street, Leytonstone.
The council has been contacted for a comment.
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