Brentford Library Read-In on 5th February

Mary Macleod, Anna Ford and Susan Penhaligon join the National Day of Protest against Library Closures at Brentford


Brentford Library
Boston Manor Road. TW8 8DW
Tel: 020 8560 8801  

Opening hours:
Monday 9.30am - 8.00pm,
Tuesday 9.30am - 5.30pm,
Wednesday Closed,
Thursday 9.30am - 8.00pm,
Friday Closed
Saturday 9.30am - 5.30pm,
Sunday Closed.

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Bring along a favourite book to read a couple of pages from, or you can pick one off the shelves. Turn up on Saturday 5th February from midday and have a public read, in the knowledge that people all over the country will be doing the same. Bring your children and their favourite books. Tell your friends.

Brentford and Isleworth's MP, Mary Macleod is going to be in attendance, along with broadcaster Anna Ford and actress Susan Penhaligon..

Robert Rankin, possibly our most (in)famous writer cannot attend but said "This really is an absolute disaster!"

Says Anna Ford: “I'm horrified that Hounslow are thinking of closing our library. The library was given to this community in 1904 by philanthropist Andrew Carnegie who believed in the opportunity "to discover books" and "a society based on merit where everyone who works hard can become successful."A good library offers the possibility of life-long learning. In these hard times let's do our utmost to save our library and all it represents.”

A grass roots campaign has been growing for several weeks using the Community Forum on to communicate and assisted by Hounslow Chronicle journalist Jessica Thompson and her photographer. An online petition is growing apace
The Public Libraries & Museums Act 1964 states that all local authorities have a statutory duty to provide a comprehensive and efficient library service for those who live, work and study in the local area. Countrywide more than 50% of the population are library members - more people use public libraries than attend premier league football matches.

Actress Susan Penhaligon posed the following questions:
 "If Hounslow Council closes Brentford and its other branch libraries, how will disabled people cope with reaching the "main" libraries on public transport? Unable to afford bus fares or home internet, how will the increasing numbers of unemployed look for jobs? How will mothers of pre-school children juggle them on the buses along with pushchairs and prams - in between feeding babies and collecting from playgroup?

"Public libraries for a hundred years and more have been proud places of independent learning and sources of information and inspiration. Libraries enable all children to read for pleasure and to feed their imaginations. Closing libraries will reduce reading levels which will eventually further damage the economy of the country."

Many Brentford residents see the Library as a long established focal point for the community. Celebrated author Philip Pullman has said in January this year: “It’s not our job to cut services. It’s his [the Leader of the Council] job to protect them.”

Currently 401 libraries and 53 mobiles are under threat (see Public Libraries News) for further information.

The Guardian reported the day of protest, back in December Day of Protest planned against library closures.

Celebrated author Philip Pullman made a terrific speech against library cuts and more which is well worth a read Leave the libraries alone. You donít understand their value.

Lastly, Voices for the Library has an excellent post on the value of read-ins.

February 1, 2011

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