Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Squatters Reopen Friern Barnet Library After Council Closes Service

UK: The Guardian Online, Tuesday September 11th 2012.
"The occupation has the blessing of many local residents who are delighted to see the locked doors of the library flung open once again. It's the first time that squatters have morphed into "community librarians" by occupying and reopening a public lending resource in this way. Book loans will be manually recorded and stamped.
Council officials have been trying for months to persuade locals enraged by the library closure to become volunteer librarians in a room in a nearby council building instead. The proposal has not been well received: residents want to see their much-loved local library reopened and stalemate has prevailed.
All that changed when the squatters moved in and embarked on unprecedented negotiations with senior council officials about the future of the library.
To everyone's surprise, instead of starting eviction proceedings immediately the council agreed to a series of meetings with the squatters to discuss ways to provide a new volunteer-run library. Senior council officials including the assistant chief executive Julie Taylor were invited to the squatted library on Monday for a meeting with the new occupants who treated them to tea and cakes. Another meeting has been scheduled for next week."
Stampin' it to the Man!