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Project launched to return library service to Dollis Hill residents

17:52 03 May 2013

Craig Jewitt, Cllr Alison Hopkins and Alex Melia in the Ox and Gate Pub, one of the organisations to support the Dollis Hill Love Books scheme.

Craig Jewitt, Cllr Alison Hopkins and Alex Melia in the Ox and Gate Pub, one of the organisations to support the Dollis Hill Love Books scheme.

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Cllr Alison Hopkins and Alex Melia have created a series of ‘mini’ reading rooms

A unique project has been officially launched which campaigners hope will see the benefits of a library service return to Dollis Hill residents.

Dollis Hill ‘“Love Books”, which was launched yesterday, will see books from Brent’s Library Service collected and brought to the area’s cafés, eateries, shops and pubs to create a series of “mini libraries”.

Residents can then either borrow and read books, returning them on a trust basis, or enjoy food and drink while settling down with a novel.

The idea was conceived by the chair of the CAMS residents association, Alex Melia and Cllr Alison Hopkins (Lib Dem: Dollis Hill) after seeing the affect the closure of six libraries in October 2011 had on residents.

Mr Melia, who previously told the Times he believed it was a unique idea, said it would provide residents with a chance to appreciate the area’s amenities while also feeling some of the benefits of what libraries offer.

He said: “This is about people, community building and ‘localism’, anyone can help improve an area, even an ordinary resident like me, by actually following through an idea and getting friends and family involved.”

Among the businesses to come on board by stocking books include the Ox and Gate Pub in Coles Green Road, Mrs B’s and Megabites cafes, Italian restaurant Bellissima Ristorante, in Coles Green Road and Wing Yip, a Chinese supermarket and café on Humber Road.

Braintcroft Primary School and Daniel’s Estate Agents, both in Neasden, have also joined in.

Cllr Hopkins said: “I’m hugely grateful to our local businesses for supporting the project and giving space to books. We’re very lucky here that we’ve the kind of cafes, shops and pubs that are part of our community and truly local.

“Residents were devastated when Neasden and Cricklewood libraries were closed, and they’re badly missed here, especially as they hosted all sorts of other activities as well. At least now local people will be able to borrow books without long and often tricky journeys.”

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