Friern Barnet Community Library, Friern Barnet Road, N11 3DS
Thursday 21st May 7.30-9.00pm
The Library Debate: In the library that was rescued from closure and is now run by the community, join us for a lively panel discussion on the role of libraries. Libraries are under threat locally and across the UK. We discuss just what libraries are for and who they are for? Can we mange without them? We hear a lot about what councils want for libraries, but what do users want from libraries? No charge but donations to help fund the library appreciated.
Rosie Canning is a PhD scholar, writer and librarian. She is co-founder of Greenacre Writers and the Finchley Literary Festival. After the closure of Friern Barnet Library in April 2012, Rosie started the re-open Friern Barnet Library petition.
Keith Martin is a Chartered Accountant. He worked in Europe and London, for printers, publishers and the trade union NALGO. He suffered a heart attack at a table tennis match in 2004, since when every day has been an unexpected bonus. In 2011 he founded Chaville Press, which has published ten books, all by local authors and artists including Keith’s book Friern Barnet – the library that refused to close. Keith is a member of N12 Artists and Finchley Art Society, and has exhibited at artsdepot, The Hasler Gallery and The Bohemia.
Laura Swaffield is Chair of The Library Campaign, chair of Friends of Lambeth Libraries and of the national charity The Library Campaign. A lifelong library nut, she found herself by chance working as a journalist for a library magazine, then got dragged into a campaign against library closures in Lambeth, and finally into the national scene. She is now fighting crazy plans in Lambeth all over again. She resents every moment she has to spend trying to preserve this essential public service.
Barbara Jacobson is in retirement after more than 40 years in the publishing industry. She has been an active member of Barnet Alliance for Public Services (BAPS) and Save Barnet Libraries. From the outset, Barbara supported Friern Barnet Library against the council's planned closure, has attended many of the consultations, focus groups and events organised by the council in its effort to destroy our library system, and she also writes a blog for BAPS.
Polly Napper of East Finchley Library Users Group grew up in the North of England. She studied Music at Manchester University and then moved to London. For the past twenty years she’s worked in book production for a large London publisher. In 2003 along with other residents she persuaded the DCMS to give East Finchley Library a Grade II listing. She is a founder member of the East Finchley Library Users Group which has been campaigning since 2004 against repeated reductions to the libraries budget by Barnet Council.
Alasdair Hill of Mill Hill Residents Association is a biology teacher at a state school in Haringey. He lives in Mill Hill with his two year old daughter and recently came to prominence locally leading an online petition calling for Barnet Council to scrap their library cuts proposals which reached over 9,000 signatures. Standing for the Liberal Democrats in Hendon for this year's General Election, Alasdair's political ambition is to provide a world beating education system both in the school and continuing into the community.
Adam Tipple is a former union convenor for Barnet Libraries who became a professional librarian to help people but became frustrated apologising for why they couldn’t. After twenty five years of working in libraries and community projects (mostly in Barnet), Adam is now much happier working elsewhere and supporting the campaign to save Barnet Libraries from outside, where he can’t get threatened with the sack for saying a word out of place.