Jan 04 2015

Save Bob Lawrence Library!

library_book_shelfA grassroots resident led campaign to save the library in Edgware from closure is underway.

Campaigners braved the rain this morning (Saturday, January 3, 2015) to bring signatures to over 1500. There is still time to sign the e-petition https://www.change.org/p/harrow-council-save-the-bob-lawrence-library and complete the Council’s consultation document, Take Part.

In 2013, at the Reading Agency Annual Lecture, Neil Gaiman said “Libraries really are the gates to the future. So it is unfortunate that, round the world, we observe local authorities seizing the opportunity to close libraries as an easy way to save money, without realising that they are stealing from the future to pay for today. They are closing the gates that should be open.”

[pullquote align=”left” textalign=”left|center|right” width=”30%”]…libraries are about freedom. Freedom to read, freedom of ideas, freedom of communication.[/pullquote]He also said: “…libraries are about freedom. Freedom to read, freedom of ideas, freedom of communication. They are about education (which is not a process that finishes the day we leave school or university), about entertainment, about making safe spaces, and about access to information. I worry that here in the 21st century people misunderstand what libraries are and the purpose of them. If you perceive a library as a shelf of books, it may seem antiquated or outdated in a world in which most, but not all, books in print exist digitally. But that is to miss the point fundamentally….. But libraries are also, for example, places that people, who may not have computers, who may not have internet connections, can go online without paying anything: hugely important when the way you find out about jobs, apply for jobs… Librarians can help these people navigate that world.”

Between 2004 and 2010, 83 neighbourhoods in Brent and Harrow became more deprived, one of the fastest growing areas of deprivation. Edgware, where Bob Lawrence is situated ranked the most deprived when Free School Meals was used as an indicator and is one of the 5 most deprived wards in the borough. In the circumstances, it makes little sense to close Bob Lawrence Library, a vital community space in an area which has few resources.

To support the campaign, you can do the following:

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  1. Susan Hall

    I do hope residents let their thoughts be known and I hope the Harrow Labour controlled Council listen. They are so busy re employing the past Chief Executive at a cost of 1m that things like the Library’s are not on their minds. It is disgraceful that we Conservatives were trying to make cuts at the top to protect our Services and all Labour are doing is turning the clock back, higher Council taxes loss of Services and no doubt an increase in highly paid Town Hall staff and worse still consultants. I despair. Please let Labour know its not acceptable

  2. Dipin

    Why are they stopping our Libraries but spending more money on people to be working at that Civic Head Office. We pay our taxes and we expect our services. This is not why I voted for the labour they said they would look after us and not close our libraries

  3. Farah

    This is a community library and should not be closed simply because the council can’t creatively think of other ways to maximize tax payers money. Handing off their responsibility to some other borough is simply unacceptable, especially when neighboring boroughs are shutting libraries as well. Stop passing the buck and start keeping your promises. Cutting basic welfare like libraries is not an option! The council needs to rethink their strategy and start being more accountable to their tax payers. Short cuts like closing vulnerable libraries is disgraceful!

  4. Gulshan Ul Amin

    A library is not just a building containing collection of books and other sources of information, but it’s also a social institution. Libraries reflect and shape society itself. Library is vital to providing service to communities of readers.
    When I go to a library I see students doing their work in front of the computers, which perhaps they are unable to afford at home. I see elderly gentlemen sitting around a table, reading newspapers. They come, just to sit, read, meet likewise company and sometimes maybe just to spend a couple of hours out of their houses. I see people borrowing books, films and recorded music they like. I see mums with their kids for story readings, thoroughly enjoying their selves. I see new authors having book events in the libraries trying to make people aware of their new books. And I see coffee mornings, readers clubs, and other informative and pleasurable events taking place. Some people can’t afford to buy books, so they borrow books from the library and have the freedom to read them.
    Do we really want to give up all that?
    So save your library.
    It’s as important as the area itself with its shopping centre, hospitals, parks, places of worship, and other landmarks.
    We have to value and support our libraries, use our libraries, and to protest against the closure of our libraries.
    Gulshan Ul Amin . 5 Jan 2015

  5. Dame Betty

    Libraries promote education and community cohesion. I urge the Council to rethink the way money is being spent, and what is being cut. There is an alternative. Why not reconsider the decision to bring back the Chief executive, amount being spent on PR consultants, and keep the libraries open? Libraries are more than buildings with a collection of books.
    Gulshan is spot on, libraries are social institutions. Please keep libraries open.

  6. Susan Hall

    Gulshan and Dame Betty, yes your comments are spot on and the hardest hit will be the poorer members of our society, so much for new Labour being the party that cares!

    Fight for our libraries and protect the services that our most disadvantaged residents need.

    1. Robin

      Why is the consultation only 9 weeks? Recommendations are that it should be 12 weeks, and longer if the consultation falls over Christmas or summer holidays?

      1. Farah

        Its unfortunate that the consultation was conducted over the festive break. At the end of the day its really down to the residents making sure that their feedback gets across to the Council. There is another In-Person Consultation scheduled for tomorrow at 6:30 pm at the Bob Lawrence Library. Share you views with the local authorities there. Also sign the petition against the library closure.

  7. Dame Betty

    The decision to close libraries is disappointing, and in my view does not sit with Labour values. For those who believe Labour has forgotten its values there is an alternative to Labour- Trade Union and Socialist Coalition- TUSC.

  8. jack welby

    Dave Perry takes all Harrow trsidents as fools as notice Iwas given but only on I Harrow Is Dave afraid of any opposition to his plans.

  9. ricky123

    Jack, whatever your on I want 5 bobs worth.

  10. Maggie

    Susie stop winging on about the labour govmt you were just as bad with all your petty sniping!!!!!!!

  11. jack welby

    5 bobs worth will take a million years for labour to bring the budget under control
    Labour cannot run a fish and chip shop let alone balance thebooks let alone save bob lawrence library. What is other plans have labour to ruin the lives of Harrow residents.
    PS. The contractor cannot even fix lights of a pedestrian crossing in Camrose avenue
    The name of the contractor is Kier highways who are listed in the London Stock Exchange. Will Harrow council get rebate for shoddy workmanship the answer is No.

  12. jack welby

    WE ARE ALL CHARLIE Harrow Council.lpst 2 letters concerning the behavior of Coincillor Devine and Anderson
    The leters were sent in December and have been foumdon yhe 15 January 2015 AM as the staff were on holidy.

  13. ricky123

    Make that 10 bobs worth

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