Monthly Archives: June 2012

In Memory of Sagar Shah 1980 – 2012

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The Great Library Clean-Up

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.)

BEFORE

AFTER

Brent begs and bribes people to use libraries

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.

…. etc

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:

Hi

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 libraries@brent.gov.uk now.

Open letter to Jeremy Hunt. We await his courteous reply.

It’s been a difficult few weeks for Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt.  Jeremy Hunt at Leveson

Last week, he endured six straight hours of questioning by Robert Jay QC at the Leveson Enquiry set up to investigate the phone hacking scandal:

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):

Read the rest of this entry

“To destroy a culture you don’t need to burn books, only remove them” – Ray Bradbury

Image 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.

THIS SATURDAY: Preston Library Clean-Up at 1pm

Preston Library on Google Street Maps

They may have removed our banner in the dead of night, but the world can still see it on Google street maps.

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

Jubilee in Preston

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