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Save the Kensal Rise Library!

By Phil O'Shea

Save the Kensal Green Library protest

“It’s an easy option, who cares about books?” shouted someone. “Cultural vandal” shouted someone else. Councillor James Powney who is responsible for Brent’s libraries was getting another rough ride.

There has been uproar at a series of public meetings since Brent Council disclosed that it is planning to close Kensal Rise Library and five other libraries in the borough.

Queens Park Forum ProtestKensal Rise library, a listed building in College Road Kensal Green, was opened in 1900 by the US author Mark Twain. Incredible passion has been aroused over this issue like no other, and there are now posters in windows all over Kensal Green and Kensal Rise proclaiming “Save the library!” The Guardian had a whole page article on Kensal Green Library and there have been letters in the paper from as far away as the US. Local novelist Maggie Gee was interviewed on the Robert Elms show on BBC London Live, there have been two item on BBC Radio 4 this week, and plenty in the local papers.  As one local mum explained in The Guardian article “It’s the only local place you can come without spending money. Classless, local and friendly. I’d be so sad if it closes.”

There is a public meeting on Thursday 27th  January at  7pm at the Scout Hall in Leighton  Gardens ( off  College   Road ).

Fundraising events are planned to help raise money for the campaign: a quiz night at the Mason’s Arms pub in Kensal Green on Feb 1st , and a public reading probably at The Paradise pub by Zadie Smith in early March.

To join the campaign email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Join the Facebook Group “Save Kensal Rise Library”

And visit the campaign website:  http://kensalriselibrary.wordpress.com/

To close one library is cultural vandalism, to close six is cultural genocide.
Phil O'Shea

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