Sunday, May 26News For London

Keeping London’s libraries open

Public libraries are closing across London due to cutbacks in local government funding. Cristiana Ferrauti Twitter: @Cristiana16492 meets a volunteer who aims to keep a library open. Sub-editor: Sonal Gupta 

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Barham Library at Wembley High Road Photo Credit: Cristiana Ferrauti

Paul Lorber, Liberal Democrat leader at Brent Council, is director of the Friends of Barham Library  – charity trust for bringing back the community library.

The Crabbs House, in Barham Park, was the building hosting the local library. It opened in 1952 and has been active until October 2011, when Brent Council closed it as part of the Libraries Transformation Project 

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Inside the Barham Library Photo Credit: Cristiana Ferrauti

During Saturday afternoon, Lorber volunteers at the temporary shop premises in Wembley High Road. It is a library and second hand bookshop opening three times a week.


In 2013, another volunteer library and community activities centre opened in Sudbury Town Underground Station.

During the National Library Day – held on the 7th February – he told me the reasons behind their campaign still going on.


Recent events timeline

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Photo Credit: Cristiana Ferrauti


  • 2010 – Library Transformation Project is approved.
  • 2011 – Barham Park Library is closed along with other five libraries. The space within the building is under a converting operation that will make out 29 artist studios to rent.
  • 2012 – Friends of Barham Library starts pop-up events, firstly at Barham School (for three months) and afterwards at 428 Wembley High Road.
  • 2013 – The charity trust opens another library and second hand bookshop in Sudbury Town Underground Station.
  • In June, the Brent Civic Centre Library opens.
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Photo Credit: Cristiana Ferrauti