Wednesday, September 12, 2012

squatter librarians

In what appears to be a tactical shift since the British government made it a criminal act for squatters to take over derelict residential properties, squatters have occupied and re-opened the Friern Barnet library in North London, which had been closed by the local council. According to The Guardian, 270 local libraries around the country have been shuttered due to budget cuts. The Barnet council has said it wants to sell this library site to a developer. The squatters haven't said what they'll do if the council goes through with its plan, but the new squatter library opened to the public yesterday, and local residents, who have been fighting to keep the library open, seem quite happy with the take-over.

"One action is worth 1,000 words," said Mike Gee, who has collected 7000 signatures on a petition to keep the library open. "I fully endorse what the squatters have done but I am concerned about the situation. Does the council pay a librarian to do an honest day's work or does the council chief executive, who is on 10 times a librarian's salary, get volunteers to do the job for free?"

3 comments:

Jen Downey said...

Hi Rob!

I was just simultaneously trying to referee a a fight between two children over a makeshift cauldron and drag a family of dust bunnies out from under a bed by their ears, when a familiar voice from the radio began to describe the phenomenon of "shadow cities".

It only took ten seconds or so for me to go from "hey that voice sounds oddly familiar to "HEY, it's ROB!" So lovely to hear you, and what you had to say.

Love this post about the squatter library. I experienced a computer crash a year ago and lost all my e-mail contacts. You can find me on FB or at jsdowney@earthlink.net . xo Jen (once upon a time from Brooklyn)

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