Fight to save Suburb library

By Jessica Elgot, July 7, 2011

Leaders of a campaign to save Hampstead Garden Suburb's library are calling for support from the Jewish community, which accounts for more than 40 per cent of borrowers.

Some 2,500 signatures have been collected for a petition opposing Barnet Council's plan to close the library in September.

A letter from Kerem Primary School is among a number sent to the relevant Barnet officials.

Supporters include Gillian Freedman, who pointed out: "The Hampstead Garden Suburb Library has served the local community for over 60 years. In an area with many young Jewish families, as well as long-time elderly Jewish residents, the library is part of the fabric of the Suburb.

"My children grew up visiting the library and learning to love books. One, Seth Freedman, is now a three times published author and his books are even on the library shelves. I see the local Lubavitch teenagers come in to use the important computer facilities.

‘Local Lubavitch teenagers use the computers’

She added that "Jews have always revered the written word and that is why so many of us want to ensure that this vital facility remains open for the whole Suburb community".

Campaign leader Deborah Warland pointed out: "Our small library is not owned by the council.

"It has an annual rent of £10,532 and the lease cannot be legally terminated until 2016. If the library were to close, it would cost taxpayers some £50,000."

The decision will be taken at a council cabinet meeting on July 26.

Last updated: 3:07pm, July 7 2011