Category Archives: Photo

And some more pics from the quiz

One year on: torch relay and memorial service for Brent libraries

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!

Preston Community Library Open Day

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.

Preston Community Library NOW OPEN

Titus the Barham Bear goes to Preston Community Library

Titus the Barham Library Bear, popped in to Preston Road Library on Friday to check out the new facilities. He was impressed. Photo: Francis P Henry

Envious of the success of temporary libraries by our Brent SOS buddies at Kensal Rise and Barham Park, Preston Community Library, long in the pipeline, is up and running – in the doorway of our beloved library.

Please borrow. Please return. Please get involved.

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

167,004 lost library visits: the true cost of closures

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.

Brent SOS LIbrary campaigners hold placards outside Brent Town Hall

Read the rest of this entry

Where there’s a Will!

On Monday, our inimicable Geraldine Cook put together our very own World Book Night event at the Windermere Pub (well Brent weren’t going to!), celebrating Shakespeare’s birthday and St George’s day in one fell swoop.

Read the rest of this entry

Burns Night in the land Brent forgot!

With thanks to the fair Geraldine.

A truly Dickensian night at the Windermere

A packed out Windermere nestled in the snow was the perfect setting for us to celebrate Charles Dicken’s 200th anniversary. Following the children’s storytelling day at Preston Park school, it rounded off a hugely successful National Libraries Day, despite yesterday’s bad news.

Readings from the man of letters and Whitbread Prize-winner Paul Bailey and music from the inimicable CLOS made it an night to remember. Let’s not forget the children – and yet more distinguished authors, like Leon Rosselson, Kaye Umansky (below), Daniel Kitts, Dyan Sheldon and Jenny Newland.

Brent has no plans to ever hold an event locally here. That ended when they closed our only portal to the council, and lied to us that they would make it up via “outreach”.

Campaign will go on – despite Supreme Court setback

Tara Brady writes in the Kilburn Times

Campaigners leading the fight to save Brent’s closed libraries are not giving up hope and have vowed to carry on. The news library supporters had been dreading was announced today – that the highest court in the land, the Supreme Court, will not hear their case.

banners hung outside Preston Library read: "Give us back our library. The fight goes on" and "This is your world. Shape it, or someone else will"

 

Margaret Bailey, who helped to take the fight to the High Court and the Appeal Court, said: “Obviously the decision is disappointing, and worrying that judges are able to make decisions that allow for the disregard of laws that are meant to protect people simply so that councils can make cuts. What next? Ignore the Equalities Act, the Human Rights Act because they may be too expensive to enforce?”

Samantha Warrington, Preston Library supporter, believes there should be a public inquiry. She said: “We have always been pursuing other routes. Now the legal avenue has closed we hope there will be a public inquiry and that Brent will consider alternatives in a way Camden has done it so positively.”

Read whole article here.

Community turns out in force to Save Preston Library

The fight is far from over. The hall was packed, reinvigorating all of us. Preston needs it’s Library and a fair deal from the council.

image

Read the rest of this entry

Brent is a Rotten Borough 2011

The team who closed your library won not one but two awards in December. While the cash-strapped council wasted another £15,000 in celebrating Sue McKenzie (below, centre) and her team’s noble achievement in destroying Preston, Private Eye came up with a rather more accurate award:

ROTTEN BOROUGH AWARDS 2011

WHO’S been bullying the electors; who’s been pocketing the brown envelopes; and who doesn’t know the difference between “astronomy” and “astrology”? Find out if your local authority is guilty of crimes against the council taxpayer and picked up a gong in the Rotten Borough Awards 2011…

……..More

LIBRARY AWARD

Congratulations to Brent council’s “team of the year”. Yes, it’s the Library Transformation Team, whose successful 2011 has seen the closure of six of the London borough’s 12 libraries in the face of community outrage.

Sue McKenzie and her Library Transformation Team with council's ludicrous Team of the year

Shamed Council take down Wall of Shame

Council Leader Ann John criticised on the Wall of ShameYesterday, contractors pulled down the Brent ‘Wall of Shame’ hiding Preston Library. This follows a sneaky move to empty it of books and equipment last week, before any injunction to stop it could be issued.

The Wall, with its popular support from local artists and schoolchildren, has become a major embarrassment to the Council over the last few weeks and they have finally decided that perhaps it was not such a good idea after all

It would be interesting to learn exactly how much this futile exercise of paying contractors to erect the Wall – and then take it down again – has actually cost Council Tax payers.

Unfortunately for Brent Council, the Wall is unlikely to be forgotten – we have photos galore.

A Preston Christmas Carol (or two)

For those who missed last week’s carols – you can now sing the special ones around your tree at home. We have shown incredible spirit this year and we intend to continue into the new year.

Community singing carols at the Wall of Shame

Carols written specially for Preston Library Campaign

You can also download and print them here: A Preston Christmas Carol

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I spy…. an update on the Appeal

Thanks to Elaine at I Spy in Queens Park blog for her fulsome account of both days of our appeal…

Brent Libraries Latest – the Appeal

Just back from court 63 where Lord Justices Pill, Richards and Davis have spent the last two days hearing the appeal against Mr Justice Ouseley’s decision in favour of Brent Council on 13th October.

After a slightly surreal start with the usher announcing a case involving the “London Borough of Trent“, conjuring up unlikely images of Ann John as Maid Marion, he corrected himself, and the hearing began.  We have a new barrister – Dinah Rose – and she was very impressive.  She opened the case yesterday with the complicated indirect discrimination point – but she explained it so well that I think all 50 or so supporters – (the court was packed and folding chairs had to be brought it!) may now be able to explain it to someone else.
Read the rest of this entry

The Long March to Kingsbury Library

Thanks to Wembley Matters blog for the account of today’s  Walk to Save Preston Library. Locals from children to octagenarians walked en masse to their “next nearest library” in Kingsbury  from South Kenton. With no direct public transport, the walk highlights how the new library system in miles out.

The march took about an hour, excluding a short refreshment stop.  As one of the slower ones said, “By the time we get there are books will be gone!”

Read the rest of this entry

Saturday: The Walk to Save Preston Library – 1.30pm South Kenton station

Show Jeremy Hunt why Brent’s 21st Century library service is miles out!!

We’re going to walk to our nearest library this Saturday 5 November. Join us and show the politicians just how close Kingsbury library really is.

Everyone welcome – dress as your favourite book or character!

Saturday 5 November – 1.30pm – South Kenton station (Windermere Ave)

Kenton, Preston and Barn Hill ward councillors have been invited – let’s hope they join us and show where they stand/walk!

 

 

TODAY: Special Delivery for Jeremy Hunt

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

At 10 am, we went to the DCMS in central london to present 12,000 signatures and hundreds of letters to the Secretary of State, Jeremy Hunt.  400 were by kids alone. We demand he fulfil his responsibility to.investigate whether Brent’s new library service is “comprehensive and efficient” (as it should be under Museums.and Libraries Act 1964).
He met the council in June, but has he heard our side? Nope. The sheer volume of complaints to him should persuade him to do so.

 

MONDAY: Preston Pub Quiz

It’s back!

Monday 24th October
7.30pm at The Preston Pub
£5/3

Raffle and laughter guaranteed.

Council required to leave libraries alone until Appeal in November

The Guardian (among others) writes:

A judge has fast-tracked an urgent hearing of an appeal against Brent council’s closure of six libraries.

Lord Justice Elias granted an appeal against a ruling made last week in the high court that Brent council’s decision was lawful. He ordered that attempts should be made for it to be heard before the court of appeal on two days early next month.

Brent council has agreed, in the meantime, to take no irrevocable steps to prevent the libraries reopening in the event of the appeal being won.

Campaigners have mounted vigils outside two of the threatened libraries, Preston Road, which has already been boarded up by the council, and Kensal Rise, to ensure they are not emptied of books or computers while the legal dispute continues.

The valiant campaigners who have braved the cold outside Preston night and day since Monday can breathe a small sigh of relief.   You have made national news and we salute you.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Library campaigners mount vigils to prevent Brent council clearing shelves

The day the council came to cart away our books, a plucky band of Preston-ers were there to stop them…including:

My favourite photo

Geraldine Cooke, a publisher just back from the Frankfurt Book Fair, stood close by, honking defiantly on a red horn

given to her in Germany by a US erotica publisher in a gesture of intellectual solidarity. Every now and then, her honks were answered by passing cars.

Cooke, who, along with her fellow campaigners, has been organising petitions and raising £30,000 for a legal fighting fund, said she had no plans to give up the battle. “I think we’ll do it for as long as it takes, even though we’re not many people down here,” she said, nodding at the seven other protesters. “There’s no doubting the passion of the people here.”

Read the rest of this entry

Locals prevent removal of books from Library…for now.

Volunteers urgently needed to keep an eye on the library – spare half an hour and keep watch through the day.

This morning valiant Preston locals stopped Brent Council removing books and equipment  from the library – a step which could be considered irrevocable ahead of a planned appeal to be lodged this week. In other words, we need to stop anything else happening to our library, or it may be impossible to reverse even if we win an appeal.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Day the Vandals Moved In…

…and we vowed to avenge our library. We must stop the council from removing books and furniture from OUR library.

At time of writing, Kensal Rise library remains ‘open’ as children and adults heroically prevented the council from boarding it up. It has been a 24 hour vigil. For LIVE updates click here.

Meanwhile, dozens Preston library users were aghast to find a huge wall as they came to…er… use the library after school. Clearly the council had prepared the closure in advance of the verdict.

 

 

 

Sending out an SOS to the world

Some memories of just a few of our SOS events this summer…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Brent Council in the Dock: Day 1

Despite Murdoch’s best efforts to monopolise the media, our legal challenge was  featured in national, London and local media, with more to come…

Besides our good friends at Wembley & Brent Times and the Wembley Observer,  we were in (deep breath)….

The London Evening Standard ITV London Tonight The Daily Mail The Independent BBC The Guardian

Metro London 24Bearsden Herald

 etc….

Read the rest of this entry

Pub Quiz back by popular demand!

Following the stonking success of our inaugural Preston Pub Quiz on June 6, Preston Campaign have organised the sequel for July 4. It’s £5 per person and £3 concessions, bring your team if you are still talking to them!

Mon 4 July – 7.30pm (for an 8pm start sharp!)
Preston Pub, opposite the library.

It’s EVENT DAY, so walk or use public transport as the car park may well fill up. Tube: Preston Road or South Kenton and Buses 204, 79 and 223 all stop right outside.

Check out our EVENTS page for all our summer fundraisers – there is something for everyone.

Map here.

Preston petition reaches staggering 6000 signatures

image

More than 10,000 people across Brent have signed a petition opposing Library closures. Preston alone had 6,000. Every signature is a voice that is being ignored by the council.  That is 10 times the 1134 respondents to the consultation, 82% of whom also REJECTED closure.

%d bloggers like this: