Library campaigners will mark the first anniversary of branch closures tomorrow
PUBLISHED: 20:00 12 October 2012
The Light of Learning torch relay will take place at 11am
While Brent has already seen two torch relays this summer – with the Olympic and Paralympic Games – resilient library campaigners will hold their very own to mark a year since the start of their fight.
Tomorrow (Saturday) marks exactly one year since Brent Council’s decision to axe half of the borough’s libraries was finalised following a judicial review stating the authority could go ahead with their plans.
The six libraries in Barham, Cricklewood, Kensal Rise, Neasden, Tokyngton and Preston were closed immediately and have remained shut ever since.
However, campaigners across all six branches are still determined to see them re-opened and will take to the streets to march between each of the axed branches to honour the milestone in their campaign.
The Light of Learning torch relay, which begins at 11am tomorrow, will also link Kensal Rise Library in Bathurst Gardens with Preston Library in Carlton Avenue East.
Memorial events will be observed at each site, with readings and refreshments.
Margaret Bailey, a member of the Friends of Kensal Rise Library (FOKR), said: “This day of closure of the libraries also marked the establishment of our Pop-Up Library, which has become a powerful symbol of the determination of this community to support the campaign to keep our library open.
“The campaign itself has been going for nearly two years and has been a magnificent achievement.”
During the relay marchers will visit all the closed libraries as well as Willesden Green Library Centre, in High Road Willesden and the Barham Volunteer Library in Wembley High Road, which was set up in protest at the closure of Barham Library in Barham Park.
Philip Bromberg, of Friends of Preston Library, said the library was an “essential part of their community” and claimed the loss was still felt across the community.
He said: “The huge drop in library usage across the borough, together with the birth of pop-up libraries at Kensal Rise, Cricklewood, Barham Park and Preston Road, show the need for good , local, public libraries.
“Brent SOS Libraries will continue to fight for them”.
The move to close the six libraries will save the council £1million.