Our campaign group, SFBLG, left with the prospect of our local library marked for closure, decided to do something about it. This website captures some of the tremendous stories, messages of support, effort, energy and hard work, done by many local residents and beyong, saddened by the prospect of loosing a much loved and cherished part of a community space and building in Friern Barnet.
We were all passionate about saving what many considered to be our community centre and space.
We were all shocked to hear about the proposed closure of our library and we all wanted to do something positive together as a group of residents, to try and persuade Barnet Council to change their mind.
It was quite distressing to learn about the closure as we had in many different ways enjoyed the many services offered by the library and its staff.
How did it start?
It all started with lots of local residents contributing a little time and effort to help rasie awareness about Barnet's Library strategy review. And we all felt strongly about trying to make an effort to save our library from closure.
Many people volunteered, from setting up an electronic petition by Alfred on Barnet Council's website, to a young student who organised our first campaign, with a stall outside the library, borrowing a table from the British Legion! Since then, we have grown in numbers and success, holding many campaigns that have received wide coverage in the local and national press. And this was all before the arrival of the Occupy group that entered the building once the library had been closed officially.
We have had hundreds, if not thousands of people turn up to support us and demonstrate the strenght of feeling about the value and importance of our library and staff.
And it has helped make it all the more worthwhile and given us all a sense of hope and a chance to help change the minds of Barnet councillors to reconsider and keep out library open. Although this was not achieved by our group's efforts, and sadly Barnet Cabinet voted through the strategy to close the library. It was only after the arrival of the occupy group that the campaign was given a boost of confidence and helped brochure a positive outcome.
Alot of the information contained here is representative of many people's hard work and efforts to save the library. We hope you enjoy it.
Website built and edited by Martin Russo
How you can get involved!
It's never too late to get involved, and any help you can offer is greatly welcomed. Here's what you can do to help:
It was our communal centre, a place to learn, study, read, discover new worlds, fire up imaginations, find information and support, friends, find help with childcare, child minding support, providing many ideas and educational projects for many children, schools, families and local people.
It can serve as a place of refuge away from the crowds and busy streets of our modern city life in London.
We are asking Barnet Council to keep it and our green communal space, our green village, open. This is our centre and we want to keep it open.
It serves to feed the very hearts and minds of our lively, busy, strong, good natured and diverse community.
We are a diverse group of young and old, including young families, attracted to the area because of the close proximity of the library, its resources available and we have grown through many generations, to enjoy, learn and discover a sense of community.
There is an increasing variety of job seekers, including the young, who have a great need to make use of the free internet, computer facilities, study and information provided by the library.
There are the elderly, a nearby sheltered housing centre and people with disabilities and mobility issues who welcome and enjoy its locality and services.
The prospect of travelling to North Finchley for services, could prove very challenging.
The Arts Depot is local to North Finchley but not to Friern Barnet. Public transport for some, can be costly, inconvenient and slow in our ever increasing world of heavy traffic gridlocks.
If the proposed relocation is agreed to North Finchley, it could transform a relatively trouble free journey and change it into a more stressful and tiresome expedition to the library for some members of our community.
The local residents have expressed concern about its impact and trust it would meet current legislation concerning Equality laws, with the subject and application of some form of Equality impact assessment being carried out on behalf of local residents.
And we hope we can keep it just the way we like it, here in Friern Barnet.Local Barnet residents have enjoyed the warmth, support and benefits of the library and valued its friendly staff and amenities enjoyed in many peoples lifetimes.
People have made friends, many people, from all walks of life, from different generations and backgrounds, like you, enjoying the pleasure of being able to walk to Friern Barnet library..