Preston Library is a small, single-storey local library in Brent. It is located just off Preston Road and is used by residents of Preston, Barn Hill and Kenton wards.
The council told us Preston Library is
“low usage and poorly located”
In fact, it neither. It is one of the best performing libraries in the borough, according to the council’s own data. PRESTON LIBRARY….
- Has the HIGHEST Issues per visit of any library
- Has the HIGHEST ratio of books issued to stock
- Is the SECOND most cost-effective by cost-per-issue
- Has the FOURTH highest number of visitor numbers per square metre (higher than Willesden Green and Kilburn) – i.e. it’s highly cost-effective use of space
- Is the FIFTH most cost-effective as measured by Cost per Visit
- Issues the FIFTH most books in the borough
- Is the FIFTH most cost-effective by hours open
(Why the discrepancy? Click here for more.)
Closure would leave a very large residential area in the north of the borough without a library. The area has a changing demographic …
“New pockets of deprivation have appeared in the north of the Borough in historically affluent areas of Preston , Kenton and Queensbury have all become more deprived.”
Unfortunately, much of the Equality Impact Assessment undertaken as part of the library closure plan is based on 2001 Census figures. It cannot take account of the changing nature of Preston Ward, and pre-dates the current economic crisis, and the increase in migrants after the expansion of the EU.
(more on Preston Library’s importance to the community)
Many residents do not have a library within walking distance
Brent’s solution? Even fewer people will have a local library. We will soon have a TWO TIER system, with some parts enjoying strengthened local offerings, and others, like Preston, losing what little they have.