Saturday 5 November 2011

The Long March to Kingsbury Library Plus

Library campaigners from a few months old to people in their 80s took part in a long march from South Kenton to Kingsbury Road today to demonstrate how far they had to go to a library now that Preston Library has been closed. Liberal  Democrat and Conservatives councillors were on the march along with Green Party candidates and dissident members of Brent Labour Parry but the majority of people were simply residents furious at losing their valued local library and incensed at how they have been treated by Brent Council.

The march took about an hour, excluding a short refreshment stop.  As one of the slower ones said, "By the time we get there our books will be overdue!"

International solidarity at South Kenton
Pause at the boarded up Preston Library 'Wall of Shame'
A message for councillors on the 'Wall of Shame'
Children are one of the groups most affected by the closures
We stopped for refreshments....
...and caught up on the latest campaign news
Even the famous suburban privet came out in sympathy!
Kingsbury Library at the end of the long march

When we got to the Kingsbury Library some campaigners popped in to look at the facilities. Many were surprised by how small it was and it certainly looked crowded with just the addition of a few of us. One campaigner fondly remembered the 'long table' at Preston Road library which fostered conversations and community solidarity.

A mother with two young sons said it just didn't feel like her 'local library'. At Preston she had known all the staff and felt comfortable to let her children explore the library without close supervision. She had known most of the users by sight.  Localism and feelings of safety and ease would be missing if she had to use this library.

The Transport for London Journey Planner gives two routes from South Kenton to Kingsbury Library Plus. The first is a train to Kenton and then a 183 bus and the other a 223 bus to Wembley Park and then the Jubilee line to Kingsbury. Not exactly user friendly.

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