Saturday pop-up library is a chapter of success

Friends of Barham Library (FOBL) opened a community-led reading room after Brent Council axed local branch

A volunteer library, set up in response to Brent Council’s decision to axe half of the borough’s reading rooms, has insisted it now has a greater selection of children’s books than all of the remaining buildings.

Friends of Barham Library (FOBL) opened a community-led “pop-up” library in April after Barham Library, in Harrow Road, Wembley, and five other libraries were shut last year.

However, following two bumper donations from charity Healthy Planet and the renowned Children’s publishers, Usborne Books, the group claims its extensive collection now rivals the council-run buildings.

Although only open at weekends, the community effort, at Barham Primary School, Danethorpe Road, Wembley, has gone from strength to strength and now offers a wide collection of both adults’ and children’s books.


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Francis Henry, a volunteer, said: “We have a fantastic collection of children’s books and it is a real joy to see the young people enjoy them every Saturday.

“Children’s books are not cheap and not everyone can afford to buy them.”

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The move to close Barham Park, Cricklewood, Kensal Rise, Neasden, Preston and Tokyngton libraries will save the local authority �1m.

FOBL’s library is on Saturdays between 11am and 2pm.

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