Want to use a Brent Library computer? Forget it…

Brent Council have made much of the ability to book library computers…from the comfort of your home computer. Neither the courts  nor the politicians seem to see the absurdity of this. It gets better, one user reports:

Strangely enough, I do want to book a computer in a Brent library, from my laptop at home, so I can print something. They made a lot of their online booking facility, but when you go on their website, it suggests you use the ‘booking terminal’ at the library or ring them up!

For posterity, here is the website, noting the very recent date it was updated (27/02/2012):

Brent Council computer booking screenshot March 2012

Try it yourself on the Brent Council website. It’s part of a game I call: “I lost my library and nothing is replacing it.”

Labour loses Dollis Hill seat to library campaigner Alison Hopkins

Congratulations to our fellow campaigner Alison Hopkins who yesterday reminded Brent Labour that you do not win by shutting down services. She took the Dollis Hill seat in a by-election called after the tragic death of Cllr. Alec Castle (LD).

She said:

“It is clear that a huge number of Brent residents are still very angry at Labour’s decision to force through the closure of half of our libraries in the face of massive public opposition.

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Willesden Green demonstration attracts thousands

So they hoped we had run out of steam?

Preston library campaign with our friends across Brent worked hard to inform Willesden residents about the threat to their library. Willesden is the biggest and most expensive library in Brent, the “success story” that leader Ann John falsely compared to our own beloved Preston library. She kept telling us how great Willesden was, why that would stay open and ours would close instead. And all the while, plans were afoot to close and demolish it. Which means there will soon be only 5 small libraries left in Brent, and some badly need to be rebuilt.

So no wonder Willesden Green residents are so upset. Nearby neasden, Kensal Rise and Cricklewood have all been shut. And thus Brent Save OUr Six Libraries, has become Brent Save our SEVEN libraries…

Almost 6,000 people join the fight to save Willesden Green Library
By Tara Brady, Kilburn Times

Thousands sign petition against plans to demolish 19th century building.  In a remarkable demonstration of community action, hundreds of people rallied outside the library in High Road, Willesden, on Saturday, to stop Brent Council from knocking down.


TODAY: Lobby Parliament

Methodist Central Hall front, London

National rally and lobby at the Houses of Parliament

Campaigners from all over the country will descend on Westminster today to demand an end to the mass closure of vital libraries.

Brent SOS libraries invites you to join us at the rally between 11.30am and 4pm  – we will have stall there and want as many people as possible to come along. Email us NOW to tell us if you are coming.

The lobby will begin at 2.30pm.

Organised by the Speak Up for Libraries campaign, there will be:

  • high profile speakers, entertainment and films all telling the same story – libraries are a valued and vital resource.
  • Visit the ‘pop up’ library and see for yourself the many faces a modern library.
  • Arrange to meet with your MP and tell them now is the time to act to protect libraries. Email your MP to arrange to meet them.
  • Support the campaign, and let us know if you are coming to the lobby.

Maps and timetable:

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Council ‘pays £70,000 a year’ for an EMPTY Neasden library

Closed to cut costs, Neasden library is costing £70,000 just to remain closed. So not such a great money saving idea after all?

Miranda Bryant writes in the Evening Standard.

Neasden Library with shutters down

Neasden library, one of six to be axed by Labour-run Brent, was closed four months ago. However, Liberal Democrats on the council claim it is locked into leasing the building until at least 2022, for £55,000 a year, as it recently renewed the lease. Business rates and maintenance charges take the annual cost of the building to more than £70,000, they said.

TODAY: Final chance to complain to DCMS

Letter from Preston Park pupil pleading for the library to remain open

Today is your last chance to tell government to investigate closure of Preston Library
If you haven’t already written, please do so now.

The Department of Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) are legally obliged to investigate or tell us why not, and if they have thousands of complaints, it is much harder for them to ignore us.
Email them (using info below) – enquiries@culture.gov.uk

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