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Our very own Geraldine has been chosen as a ‘Giver’ on ‘World Book Night‘. She has been gifted inscribed copies of ‘Girl With A Pearl Earring’ by Tracy Chevalier.
She has organized an event at ASDA in Wembley Park tomorrow Tuesday 23rd where the first 6 people to ask will be given a copy.
Local Author Daniel Ridley-Kitts MBE, signing his recently published ‘Military, Naval and Civil Airships since 1783′ by The History Press, at Preston Community Library this morning.
Members of the Preston Library Campaign, took up residence in Preston Community Library, a temporary reading room in Preston Road, Wembley, for a Charles Dickens reading session.
Read more here.
Founder Jacqueline Bunce-Linsell with fellow trustee Simon Gurevitz open the latest venue for our wandering library on October 13 2012 with a marathon reading of Alice in Wonderland:
There are more than 2000 books for you (700 in the reading room itself). To join, take some photo ID and a household bill along to collect your membership card and borrow books.
Opening hours: Sunday: 10 am – 1pm and Thursday: 2pm – 4.30pm
Volunteers for cataloguing and general activities always welcome, as are donations.
Preston Community Library was set up as a Charitable Company, and has now been awarded Charitable Status. Donations are most welcome.
PARKING IN PRESTON ROAD IS FREE ON A SUNDAY provided it is not an event day at the Stadium***
The success of the reading and lending room is dependent on sufficient funding and volunteers willing to give their time. Any offers of help in particular and donations of money will be gratefully received.
Enquiries: Preston Community Library
While we lose vital services just to save £400,000, 10 times as much has been spent on the latest Apple devices…
Brent Council is spending £5million on up to 3,000 iPads and iPhones in time for the move to the new Civic Centre next year.
By Hannah Bewley, Wembley Observer. Read more here.
One year on, Brent SOS Libraries campaign marked the closure of our libraries with a torch relay between all 7 libraries, stopping at Barham Community Library, before winding its way to the newly inaugurated Preston Community Library where a marathon read of Alice in Wonderland was held. A vigil was held at Preston Library itself before we moved onto a party at the Windermere. Phew!
A year since our libraries were closed, Brent SOS Libraries will be running it’s own Light of Learning torch relay through each site, linking each and renewing our commitment to reopening all of them.
At 5pm it’ll arrive at Preston Library, where we will have guest readings, before a good old knees up at The Windermere at 6pm. Expect great music, raffles and free buffet! (Map + itinerary below)
But the fun will begin earlier at 2pm, when Preston Community Library will reopen at 235 Preston Road with a marathon reading of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. So come along!
Alongside the Light of Learning torch relay marking 1 year since library closure PRESTON COMMUNITY LIBRARY will reopen at 235 Preston Road, with a marathon reading of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland.
We would like chidren to come and help us read Alice from start to finish.
Please let us know if your child would like to take part.
- 2pm: Formal Opening of the Reading and Lending Room at 235 Preston Road
- 5pm: Torch arrives outside Preston Library
- 6pm: Party at the Windermere Pub, Windermere Ave
PLEASE COME AND SUPPORT US – We have over 2,000 donated books. We will only have about 700-800 in the reading room at any one time.
The reading room will open on Sunday mornings from 10am until 1pm starting this Sunday 14th October. It will also open on Thursday afternoons from 2pm to 4.30pm starting 18th October.
PARKING IN PRESTON ROAD IS FREE ON A SUNDAY provided it is not an event day at the Stadium
The performance poets Tim Wells, Fran Isherwood and Chuquai Billy are pleased to appear as part of The Kilburn Comedy Festival. The evening is in support of Preston Library.
- Tim Wells is a poet who’s performed world-wide. He’s toured the U.S 12 times and been translated into many languages including Chinese. He is a regular guest poet on BBC Radio London and is writer-in-residence with Tighten Up .
- Fran Isherwood‘s poetry is a wry and playful gallop through the vagaries of life encountering mail-stealing snails, lollipop ladies, Glam Rock, insomnia and macabre part-time jobs en route.
- Chuquai Billy is a Native American performer from the Lakota Sioux/Choctaw Nations. His material is friendly, funny and (mostly) historically correct with observations on life on the native reservation, life in the UK versus the US and on current affairs.
They will be joined by other quick-fire poets and the audience can judge the winner.
Tickets: £8 (£5 Concessions/Friends of Preston Library) – Book on 07773951099 or on the door.
The bookshelves are gone – Brent Council has started work on the temporary classrooms that will live inside Preston Library for the next year or two. But the community library will be back, and on a sunny Friday and Saturday, we notched up loads more members.
In honour of the rather fabulous Preston Community Library nestled in the doorway of our old one, we have 4 single Eurostar tickets up for auction.
Bids start at £200 – just email your bid to Jacky Bunce-Linsell by 12pm NOON FRIDAY 17 AUGUST.
Let your friends know and let the bidding begin!
Email address: email@example.com
**Extended due to popular demand**
As you will know from the local press, Brent Council are planning to use the Preston Library building as temporary emergency classrooms. Conversion work will start during the summer, but at the moment, the pop-up library is still outside.
Pop along to our ‘Open Day’ at the front of the Library TODAY to find out what’s happening.
And on SATURDAY, Barham Volunteer Library is hosting an all day event at 428/430 High Rd Wembley HA9 6AH – starting with Street Dancers at 11am.
An open letter to the powers that be from the trustees of Mark Twain House, Connecticut (US):
Dear Secretary Hunt, Minister Vaizey and Brent Council Members,
I would like to grab a moment of your time and some brief attention as you hurriedly prepare for the arrival of the Olympians this Summer. Stateside, we are all very excited to see how you celebrate this monumental event!
There is great anticipation for the Olympics as it is a wonderful opportunity for the world to come together in the spirit of competition and excellence.It is, of course, also an opportunity for you to showcase the assets of your great city.
One of the assets of any city, any culture or any society great is its repository of knowledge. Mark Twain, the man we honor here at his home in Hartford, CT, USA, knew this when he said:
“A public library is the most enduring of memorials, the trustiest monument for the preservation of an event or a name or an affection; for it, and it only, is respected by wars and revolutions, and survives them.”
The one thing Twain might not have anticipated a library having to survive is our current economy. Another of his wonderful quotes:
“The lack of money is the root of all evil.”
New hope for Preston Library campaigners following meeting with Brent Council leader – Kilburn Times
On Saturday, Phil Bromberg led a merry crew to clean up the frontage of the library, closed since October and a magnet for rubbish and rats.
More than a year since closure was decided, the campaign very much continues. This is our library and we want it back.
In the meantime, 1000s of books, worth more than £10,000 have been collected for our temporary library. If Brent thinks are going to ‘migrate’ to their £3 million mega-library several miles away, they are mistaken. It is going to take more than a free DVD. And we have a better reference selection.
(Brent leader, Cllr Mohammed Butt, was invited to join in. He respectfully declined. We are still waiting to meet with him.)
This week, many Brent residents recieved an email that began like this:
Dear Library Member,
We haven’t seen you for a while! Did you know that when you borrow books you can earn rewards through our loyalty card scheme?
Here’s a few reasons why it might be worth visiting us again soon.
With a massive drop in library users, Brent Council are begging for people to return. Supermarket-style loyalty cards and free DVD giveaways are being used to try to tempt people back. Indeed, the Library Transformation Project is looking very much like the Library Destruction Project.
Here’s a couple of responses Brent have been receiving:
I cannot believe you had the gall to send me this.
The main reason you haven’t seen me for a while is because YOU CLOSED MY LOCAL LIBRARY.
Did you forget that you have taken away easy access to libraries from thousands of Brent residents?
My family will start using the Brent Library service as soon as you reopen Preston Road Library which is walking distance away for us
Please can you confirm when this will be as my daugthers are keen to use their local library on Preston Road as soon as possible
Want to have your say? Email firstname.lastname@example.org now.
It’s been a difficult few weeks for Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt.
Mr Jay asks whether Mr Hunt feels comfortable with the series of texts between himself and James Murdoch. Mr Hunt says his interpretation was that in his quasi-judicial role a “courteous reply to a text message was fine”.
So Murdoch’s acolytes get immediate replies to messages out of courtesy, while tens of thousands of library campaigners are ignored. Hmm.
His department ignored us for a year, then rushed a meeting in April 2012. Meanwhile they have been in close contact with Brent for 10 months.
Despite all our evidence, we are still being ignored. Read on (it’s worth it):
Ray Bradbury, author of Fahrenheit 451 – the temperature at which books combust - died this week aged 91.
We shall miss him.
Hat tip: the fair Geraldine.
Many of you will have noticed that in the months since it closed Preston Library has become something of an eyesore – infested with weeds, and a magnet for litter.
You could, I suppose, argue that this mess is a fitting monument to the work of Ann John and Gareth Daniel, but this was – and will again be – our library, and we have decided to clean up and re-plant the front garden.
Please join us outside Preston Library this Saturday, 9 June, at 1pm. Read the rest of this entry
The financial mismanagement of Brent Council continues unabated. The cost of refurbishing Kilburn library has gone up from £117,000 to £650,000 – an extra £half million has been found to upgrade one of the least-used libraries in Brent.
The original figure formed part of the Library Transformation Plan that new leader Mo Butt is determined to see through. That figure was therefore approved by the executive when they voted for closure last year.
In just 18 months, the figure has increased five-fold. No justification for the increase has been put forward by Brent Council.
Ina stunning act of bad faith, Mohammed Butt’s council snuck into Kensal Rise library in the dead of night and stripped it bare. It was the last of the six to get the “Brent Treatment”, and the building will now be handed back to All Souls College, Oxford, probably to be sold.
Having met KR campaigners last week, we understand Cllr. Butt went down there again today to answer angry questions.
Having begun his reign with the news that Kilburn Library’s refurbishment has gone from £117,000 to over £650,000, it seems increasingly apparent that the change at the top has been cosmetic. With Ann John gone, perhaps Brent Labour hopes you will vote for them, even if nothing has really changed.
BRENT COUNCIL CONCEALS DEVASTATING EFFECTS OF LIBRARY CLOSURES
Brent SOS Libraries today reveals the true extent of the damage caused by the library closures in the London borough of Brent.
On Monday night, a “progress” report presented misleading and incorrect information on the so-called “Libraries Transformation Project” to the new Labour executive. Brent SOS Libraries responded with its May 2012 Brent SOS Libraries Report, which shows:
- There have been 167,004 fewer library visits since half of the borough’s libraries were closed in October compared with the same period year on year.
- 158,809 fewer books have been issued.
- Library visits and lending have fallen 20% will continue to fall with the imminent closure of Kilburn and demolition of Willesden Green libraries.
- This has been a net loss of 191 opening hours per week.
Most of the users of the closed libraries ARE NOT USING the remaining libraries, as the council claims. The report that went before the council on Monday failed to mention these key indicators and misrepresented a failing, wasteful service as a success.
Very interesting article in tonight’s Kilburn Times.
Tonight the new leader Cllr. Muhammed Butt will be sworn in. On the same day, workers arrived to clear Kensal Rise library of books.
Thankfully a protest prevented it from happening. Coincidence?
Well, the embattled library -snatcher Cllr Powney (who almost lost his post last week) claims the new leader “has been part of the executive that has backed the library closures all the way”.
Butt himself claims he knew nothing about it.
Barham Library campaigner, Cllr. Paul Lorber believes this was actually a move to finally close down Kensal (the only one to have held onto its books) by the outgoing head, Cllr. Ann ‘Prince’ John.
We have requested a meeting with Cllr. Butt to discuss our library. But he has already said the way libraries were closed down “was not an issue” in the leadership change. Hmm.
Wembley Matters has a thoughtful piece on the demise of Ann John. Well worth a read:
As the dust settles on the Brent Council leadership changes it is worth reflecting on the reasons behind the ousting of Ann John and what it means for the future.
The libraries issue, both the closures and the redevelopment of the Willesden Green Centre, has been the most contentious aspect of Council policy. The presentation as ‘transformation’ rather than closure; the labelling of opponents as self-interested, unrepresentative and middle class; the ignoring of petitions; the suggestion that cheap books were readily available at Tesco; all riled local citizens and the energetic and resourceful campaigners kept the issue in the local press and crucially on the national media agenda.
Read the rest here: WEMBLEY MATTERS: What did for Ann John?.
Martin Francis of the brilliant Wembley Matters blog reports…
The report of the investigation into allegations that Ann John illegally intervened in a planning application, which exonerated her has now been published and is available below.
Apart from the findings the report gives insight into the relationships within the Labour group, concern over the the way the Planning Committee operates and the conduct of the chair, and includes walk-on parts from Navin Shah AM and Barry Gardiner MP. (Read from para 4.40)
It is possible to conclude that although she was cleared of wrong-doing the report’s contents did not help Ann John in her bid to retain the leadership of Brent Council.
Read the report and more here: