Friern Barnet library to be volunteer-run

Friern Barnet library to be volunteer-run

A library in north London which was occupied by squatters will now be run by volunteers from the local community following an agreement with Barnet Council.

Friern Barnet Library was occupied in September after it was closed by the council in April 2012. Squatters have lived inside the building throughout the winter, running a book borrowing service alongside local volunteers.

In December, a judge ruled that the squatters should be evicted, but after negotiations with the council, it has been agreed that the building will be reopened as a community-run library, and not sold by the council as originally intended.

Richard Cornelius, leader of Barnet Council said: "With the council’s One Barnet change programme making greater savings than initially predicted I am pleased that we no longer need to sell this building to support the library capital programme.

“I've met with the trustees of the community library who are a very committed group of local residents and I'm looking forward to seeing the new community facility up and running. Hampstead Garden Suburb already has a vibrant and popular community library and I would be delighted to see a similar success in Friern Barnet.”

He added: “As well as a grant to support opening, the council will look at how it can rovide other practical help.”

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