We successfully resisted proposed library cuts


FORE sent a sent a deputation to Haringey council cabinet once more, this time on February 14th. Under consideration were proposed library cuts and the result of the recent online survey.

At this meeting, FORE made a successful plea to reverse the decision to cut library opening hours and staff.

Out of 140 responses to the online consultation, 73 said libraries should not be touched and a further 23 said this would disadvantage vulnerable groups.

This outcome shows the power support groups can have when working together.

Note: FORE (Friends of Reading and Education) coordinates Haringey-wide library support groups, including us – the Highgate Library Action Group.

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Extract from minutes of HLAG committee in January

Council Budget 2017/8: Haringey are consulting on their budget cuts of £20m. Branch Libraries are expected to save £150,000 by cutting their opening hours by 40%. On-line questionnaire was due in 22/1/17, but may be extended. FORE (all Haringey libraries) sent a deputation to the Overview & Scrutiny Committee on the 17/1/17 objecting: this will be passed to Cabinet & Council for a decision. 2nd Deputation planned for Cabinet on 14/2/17. Suggest letter writing to local Cllrs or MP, Catherine West by all. Our branch at particular risk.

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Haringey council consultation

Haringey council is runnig a budget consultation threatening a  new attack on libraries. http://www.haringey.gov.uk/local-democracy/policies-and-strategies/corporate-plan-2015-18/your-haringey-your-future

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FORE consultation letter





Re: consultation on the 2017/18 Budget and financial strategy up to 2021/2


FORE!, the umbrella group for Friends of Libraries, has supported and applauded the Council’s policy of keeping all the libraries open. We had hoped that the council would have continued strengthening the Service,  but it is now evident that a disproportionate percentage of cuts will hit the branch libraries in the coming years.


Papers for this public consultation only arrived at the libraries on the 11th January  (although consultation was begun on 19th December) and the final date for submissions is the 22nd January. We strongly object to this truncated time period and ask that it be extend by at least two weeks to enable a full participation by library users. Failure to do this will discriminate against those who do not use the internet.


We object to the decision to cut such a high proportion of hours in the branches as they are the one public place in the community where all of the Priorities on Page 5 of the Consultation document are best served to the public. Since closure of clubs and support groups for the elderly, the disabled, and children,  the libraries are even more important. Access to and training with computers is supporting government insistence on the use of online forms and resources for all citizens, especially job seekers and those who lack facilities at home. For many residents, a good and well-stocked library is considered an asset when they are choosing a home. Community participation and programmes for children are highly prized at the branches, and cuts like those proposed would seriously diminish all of these services in Haringey.


There is an inequality surrounding the impact inherent in these plans, especially on the very young, the elderly, and the unemployed in areas with high unemployment and density problems.


FORE! believes that implementing the proposals would lead to a reduction in footfalls and issues at the branches and thus cause a situation like that of 1999, where proposals to cut branch libraries were mooted because they were ‘not used’.  Cuts in supplies (including books) and computer and printer repairs have already had negative effects on library use. It is also short-sighted, for by reducing services accessed by vulnerable groups there is a risk of an escalation of their difficulties which will impact other council services.


FORE! also notes that although the specific reduction in hours proposed at the branches is from 58 to 36 hours, there are no details as to possible methods for achieving this.  Usage differs in each area and there is confusion as to what such reductions would mean for each branch library.


The Friends groups, working with the librarians, provide a rich menu for everyone in the neighbourhood at a time when councils are removing support from many vulnerable groups. We feel strongly that the proposed changes would damage the Library Service to an unacceptable level, diminishing the requirement for a comprehensive library service under Libraries and Museums Act 1964.  We feel that you should be providing residents with viable alternative options for ways in which savings could be made without seriously diminishing the quality of the branch libraries.


FORE!  January 2016


Susan B. Chinn, Highgate Library Action Group

George Danker, Friends of Muswell Hill Library

Helen Riley and Joanna Bornat, Friends of Stroud Green and Harringey Library

David Bennie, Friends of St. Ann’s Library

Sandra Menzies, Supporters of Alexandra Park Library

Jasmin Taylor,  Friends of Marcus Garvey Library



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Marcus Garvey reopens Feb 2016

The following is to be found here: http://www.haringey.gov.uk/contact/customer-services/contact-customer-services/changes-marcus-garvey-and-wood-green-libraries

Marcus Garvey Library
The works to refurbish and improve Marcus Garvey Library will get underway at the end of the summer.

The library will enjoy a £3million makeover, with a brighter, more spacious-looking layout, the replacement of ageing equipment and the introduction of customer service facilities alongside the full range of existing library facilities.

The library will close temporarily from the end of August while refurbishment takes place and is expected to re-open at the end of February
In the run-up to and during the closure we are providing updates on what is going on at the site. See below for the latest designs for the new-look library:

Relocated or alternative sessions
While the library is closed, users can visit the nearby St Ann’s or Coombes Croft Libraries for the usual range of facilities.

As of 6 September St Ann’s Library will be open on Sundays from 12pm to 4pm.

Activity sessions and meetings which take place at the library have been re-arranged at other libraries or centres:

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Marcus Garvey library has shut

The support group for Marcus Garvey library did a great youtube video.

It would appear though that it did not work.

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Marcus Garvey Library under threat

From Friends of Marcus Garvey Library:

Please object to the planning application
Greetings Friends of Marcus Garvey Library,

Please may I draw your attention to the Planning Application that is currently open for consultation!!

This application refers specifically to the introduction of the new entrance which will trash the lovely little garden and result in a walkway right through the ground floor of the library thereby dividing our library in half and making it unsafe for our little ones.

Please this is your chance to take action. If every single one of us fills in an objection then they have to listen!!
Please go to:
Planning Application or

reference: HGY/2015/2325
Scroll down until you get to Comment on Application, press that and there you have a chance to have your say!!
If you scroll down further you will see what other objections have been made.
Tell all, tell everyone. Visit the page today. Make your voice heard.

“A reading man and woman is a ready man and woman, but a writing man and woman is exact.” Marcus Garvey

Ayiah Jahan

Vice Chair
3 notes

see http://friendsofmgl.tumblr.com/post/127404933204/please-object-to-the-planning-application

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Alice in Wonderland Party- Saturday July 18th 2.30

Look out for the Alice in Wonderland Party at the library tomorrow, July 18th, 2.30 pm – 4.30 pm.

Expect face painting, crafts, story telling, refreshments and a raffle.

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The HLAG AGM will take place this Thursday, June 18th, at 7.30 in the library.

Attendees will be treated to talk on the use of DNA is solving crimes by Chris Truran, an expert on this topic.

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Fair In the Square

Our stall at the Fair in the Square was manned during the day by c. ten volunteers, taking turns using a rota worked out by our master of operations for the day, Sarah Wrightson. We raised £187 – a record!!

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