Campaigning for environmental and social justice in the London Borough of Brent and beyond. Against cuts and privatisation and for real democracy. Managed by Martin Francis of Brent Green Party but open to all who share these aims.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Brent 'transforms' Town Hall Library into a rubbish dump


In January I posted an article, 'Town Hall Library invaded from the south' LINK about the books stock and shelves from the closed down Neasden Library being off-loaded into the Town Hall Library and the subsequent over-crowding and mess. The library is still in chaos as the pictures above,  from the Preston Library Campaign website LINK, show.

Local people have begun to complain bitterly about the state of the library and it is clear there aren't enough staff available to clear it, and more importantly, make the stock available to the public as promised.  Instead it is  in boxes on the floor, sometimes stacked at a dangerous height; on trolleys and in the staff work room. In addition there are empty shelving units, and some books from the usual stock, such as those in Hindi, are no longer accessible. Windows and blinds are inaccessible because of the additional material and parts of the library are cordoned off.

Is this a comprehensive and efficient library service?

As well as the state of the library itself, local people are having misgivings about the move to the Civic Centre next year. The library, despite being based at the Town Hall, also serves a community function as the local library for the families of the Chalkhill Estate (and its primary school), Pilgrims Way Estate, and the flats on Kings Drive. They use the homework club,  half-term activities and the Summer Reading Scheme. All will be far less accessible to them  when the library moves all the way to the new Civic Centre. Older chidlren wil no longer be able to go there independently and it will be further for school trips from Chalkhill Primary and Ark Academy's primary phase.

A further question being asked is, 'Will the Civic Centre Library be closed on event days?' . Having seen the crowds of fans in the triangle formed by the Civic Centre, Stadium and Arena my answer would be that even it is open, it will hardly be the place for families to battle against the mass of boisterous fans to go and change their library books. This will mean that the new library won't really be open the promised 7 days a week. If you take the current period until May the stadium will be in use for sports activities on 8 weekend days and one evening. There may be other events in addition to these as well as those on at the Arena.

3 comments:

  1. Maybe we should be asking Brent what it plans to do with all that surplus stock and equipment? Is it all going to be crammed into the remaining libraries?
    Let us also ask what they plan to do with all those books as surely it was our council tax that paid for them?
    Are there any skips concealed behind the libraries or maybe even the stock support building in Willesden...someone should have a look.

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  2. 6 libraries closed 1 closing for rebuilding 1 closing for refurb 1 pack with rubbish thats 3 libraries remainin in brent when kids need study places for their GCSE's

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  3. I had a book out from Neasden Library when it closed. I forgot about it because I received no automated email reminders warning me that it was about to become overdue. When I went to renew it online today, I saw that it was now checked out until March 2013. Presumably there is a lot of other stock from the closed down libraries which has been written off by Brent, in the hope that it will not be returned to clog up the shelves.

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