Activists occupy Friern Barnet library

Activists occupy Friern Barnet library

Activists have occupied a north London library to protest at its closure.

A group of four protestors broke into Friern Barnet Library in the early hours of Wednesday morning (5th September), and claimed they wanted to see the facility reopened, after it was closed in April this year. A spokesperson for Barnet council told The Bookseller it believed the protestors were still in the building today (6th).

An activist identified only as "Julien" told The Barnet and Whetstone Press: “We are members of the public, we are squatters, we are trying to do something for the community. We are talking now to the council, we are definitely going to open the library in Friern Barnet.”

Barnet Council invited the activists to view nearby Friary House, which the council has been offering as a potential location for a community-run library. Council leader Richard Cornelius said: “We have been trying to encourage community libraries in the borough for some time. If this group would genuinely like to open one in Friary House half a mile away we would happily give them the book stock.”

In Brent, The Friends of Kensal Rise Library, have successfully raised the £70,000 they needed to take their proposals to reopen the building as a community library forward to its owners, All Souls College Oxford.

The college, which has put the building on the open market, will begin reviewing proposals tomorrow.