Friday, 1 February 2013

Proof that protesting works - Friern Barnet Community Library Saved

Sent: Thursday, January 31, 2013 11:45 PM
To: undisclosed-recipients:
Subject: SAVED!!! Friern Barnet Community Library
The trustees of FBCL have now received an amended licence from LBB  to allow them to be in the library legally. They will have 2 weeks, with promise of renewal of licence if necessary, to negotiate a lease and other matters. LBB has shown a willingness to amend the licence to their satisfaction.

There was a meeting tonight at 7 pm where it was agreed that Occupy will hand over the keys to the building Tuesday 5th February 12 midday - EVERYONE WELCOME

The local residents thanked Occupy for a fantastic occupation.

Occupy encouraged Friern Barnet Community Library to continue to fight for a paid librarian and said this victory was not just about a local library but about the national campaign to save libraries everywhere.



Yesterday I received the above email. This blog has been associated with the campaign to save Barnets libraries from the moment Robert Rams announced that he was having a strategic library review and that "people get books online at Tescos or read them at Starbucks". We organised the Save Barnets Libraries petition and got 7,000 signatures. We initiated the Friern Barnet Peoples Library protest, staging pop up libraries outside the closed building. We were the first media on site when the Occupy movement took over the library. When we made Barnet - The Billion Pound Gamble, we featured the library protest promenantly


We are proud to be associated with the Library protest and we are proud to have contributed in some small way to the victory. Once the Council made it clear that they had changed their mind about closure and sale, we kept quiet and allowed the respective teams to negotiate in good faith and with good will. We take no pleasure in some of the things we've said about the behaviour of people associated with the council, but acknoweldge that in recent weeks things have changed.


There are many lessons to be learned from the campaign and many fights to be fought in Barnet. The one thing we should all learn from the Library campaign is that if you fight a well run campaign with imagination and vigour, you can make things better. 


This is a proud and historic moment for Barnet and a proud day for the Barnet Eye. Next time anyone says "What's the point protesting" you know what to say "Look at Friern Barnet Community Library".   


Richard Logue said...

Rog this is exactly why communities need to work together to ensure local facilities like our libraries and fire stations are maintained and enhanced. Sometimes, just sometimes persistence pays off, eh?

Morris Hickey said...

Might I respectfully remind you of what is not made, proverbially, by two swallows? This is not "proof that protesting works", but simply that it has achieved a result in this instance. So well done.