Cooke defends Brent library; no word from Hunt

Cooke defends Brent library; no word from Hunt

Literary agent Geraldine Cooke is calling on members of the book trade with links to Brent to join demonstrators in their vigils outside the north London borough's closed libraries.

Speaking from outside Preston Park Library in Brent this afternoon, Cooke said local residents had prevented the removal of books and computers from the library building on three occasions today (17th October). She said: "There was one 78-year-old author, here at 8am, when people came to take books and computers away, and he asked them to leave, and they did. When they called me to come in at 10.30am, the head of libraries Sue McKenzie and big white vans were just leaving, after another attempt.

"Then about 1pm an enormous white truck with two young men arrived, and they told us 'We've only come for the computers.' A young man in builders' clothes came up, spread his arms out, and said, very gently, 'No, man, no. Phone your bosses and tell them you must go.' It was just wonderful."

The vigil is continuing for a fifth day today to prevent Kensal Rise Library, one of the six to be closed following the failure of a legal challenge in the High Court last week, from being boarded up. However, Cooke said Cricklewood library was boarded up in the night last night, while at Barham Park library, another of the Brent six, books and computers had been removed.

Meanwhile, it has emerged in Mr Justice Ouseley's judgement on the Brent closures, delivered last week, the onus was put back upon the Secretary of State, Jeremy Hunt, to intervene over library closures. Ouseley said he should do so unless something has "gone seriously or obviously wrong in law in the information-gathering or analysis process", in which case the court should address the issue.

A spokesperson for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport said the department was "studying the judgement" and would respond "as quickly as we can".