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Protesters committed to library on Friern Barnet site
Thursday, 06 September 2012
Occupied: The former library is being occupied by protesters who want to bring a community library back to the site
PROTESTERS who broke into the former Friern Barnet Library in the early hours of Wednesday morning say they are committed to turning it into a community-run library.
A member of the eight-strong group, which includes students, artists and a former librarian told The Press they will continue to occupy the building in Friern Barnet Road until it is brought back in to public use. ?
“A significant amount of people in the community want this to be a library and the council is just saying no,” said 23-year-old music student John Byrne. “We want to make it possible for it to still be used as a library and community centre.”
Friern Barnet Library closed on April 5 after a long campaign by local residents, including the Save Friern Barnet Library group, opposed to plans to merge the library with North Finchley library to create a landmark arts library at artsdepot in Tally Ho Corner. On that day 16 members of the public staged a sit-in in protest to the closure. ?
Since then the community have held several pop-up libraries outside the library's former home.
Mr Byrne said the occupiers wanted to work with the community to run a new community library, and was hoping some might join their occupation of the building.
He said: “Somebody needs to be in the building at all times. We can’t stay here all the time so we are hoping to bring in people from the community.”
Martin Russo of the Save Friern Barnet Library group said members would be meeting with the protesters on Thursday evening.
On Wednesday afternoon council officers invited members of the group for a tour around Friary House, which the authority has previously offered as an alternative venue for a community-sponsored library. ??
However, the squatters said the building was not suitable and intend to stay put in the former Friern Barnet Library site.
A council spokeswoman said the occupiers had not formally responded to its offer.
All content © of North London Press unless stated otherwise.
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Posted by : Rosie, finchley | Saturday 08/Sep/2012 | Report this comment
WANT TO BE INVOLVED IN RE-OPENING FRIERN BARNET LIBRARY? MEETING IN FRIERN BARNET LIBRARY THIS MONDAY (10TH) AT 10AM WITH BARNET COUNCIL - ALL WELCOME.
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