A grassroots resident led campaign to save the library in Edgware from closure is underway. Campaigners braved the rain this morning 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.”
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 If you perceive a library as a shelf of books, it may seem antiquated or outdated in a world in which most, but not all, books in print exist digitally.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:
· Sign the e-petition to stop the closure https://www.change.org/p/harrow-council-save-the-bob-lawrence-library or sign in person at Morrisons, Queensbury on Sunday 4th January 2015.
· Attend the In-Person Consultation on Tuesday, 6th January 2015, 6:30 pm – 8 pm at Bob Lawrence Library, 6-8 North Parade, Mollison Way, HA8 5QH
· Follow us on Twitter @librarymuststay, https://twitter.com/librarymuststay
· Like our Facebook page www.facebook.com/boblawrencelibrary & leave a comment.
· Take a selfie in front of library & post it on Twitter & Facebook.
· Email any suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Bob Lawrence Library Campaign
Neil Gaiman Reading Agency Annual Lecture, 2013
Harrow Vitality Profiles 2010