Five months ago a public library was closed in north London as part of a cost-cutting measure. Now a remarkable thing has happened, a different kind of “privatization.” A group of squatters composed of artists, students and a former librarian have moved into the library and are planning on re-opening it and running it themselves.
One of the squatters, a Hungarian previously involved in the occupation of a courthouse, states that they are trying to save the building from demolition.
He said: “Libraries are cultural hubs, there are lots of reasons why people need them. People need to read books — even in the age of the internet, libraries are really crucial.”
They plan to keep the library open Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from 11 A.M. to 3 P.M.
They have already acquired 400 books and have started lending them out. Dan said: “Some friends of ours got in and realized this place was important, so they got in contact with us and our friends.
“For us it was about opening up the library. We saw it was really important for local people. They have been trying for 18 months with protests and petitions and have been hitting brick walls, so we thought some direct action could build a bridge with the council.”
There have been a lot of libraries closed in America the last few years. If anyone from the Occupy movement is reading this…?
Be seeing you.