A few dog-eared copies of novels by Joanna Trollope and Wilbur Smith sit on the otherwise bare shelves of Friern Barnet library alongside banners urging "peace", "occupy" and "revolution". The library closed down by Barnet council in April is under new management.
Eight squatters entered the north London library last week through an open window. Since a law change on 1 September made it a criminal offence to squat residential properties, they have turned to commercial properties to find a bed for the night. The occupation has the blessing of many residents who are delighted to see the locked doors of the library flung open once again. It's the first time that squatters have morphed into "community librarians" by occupying and reopening a public lending resource in this way. Book loans will be manually recorded and stamped.
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
A new twist on a library closure
Squatters reopen Friern Barnet library after council closes service: Eight-strong group become 'community librarians' with locals' support after law change forces them out of residential property