Monday, 28 March 2011

Save Kensal Rise Library

I'm heartened that legal challenges are in process in order to try and stop the ill-thought closure of libraries such as Kensal Rise in Brent borough. Posted online on the Save Kensal Library Blog a while ago, I saw a legal statement that said that as a condition of the building being bestowed as a gifted building on the general public, it would only ever be used as a library. There ought be some law to protect buildings as beautiful as this - libraries are often amazing examples of architecture and this is seldom respected.

It is a majestic building indeed. The area feels very community-bound with its close, Victorian houses and streets, and the library is at the centre of the neighbourhood, standing pillar-like proud. Inside reveals the only library I've ever set foot in that has chandeliers shining down. The book cases are of the deep mahogany wood and in the traditional library style that I am so fond of.

A compact library but as with York Gardens, I found that there was a mine of interesting and wide-reaching material on offer. I joined up, was met with friendliness and encouragement and information from staff, and I came away with a range of books - on low salt cooking, poetry and cat care.

I'm so glad to see that there are many events being put on to support the library's plight. In fact, it's said that if the council would open up use of the library's upper floor, events could be put on there regularly and could in fact fund the library and serve it very well. Why do councils and library management staff so consistently shun and fail to exploit the full benefits that fascinating and fun events could so regularly bring to libraries? Beyond readings - eg concerts/gigs, live comedy, social clubs and events?

Save Kensal Rise petition.

This is a library that stands at over 100 years old and was opened by Mark Twain.

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