TV presenter Jonathan Ross opens Hampstead Garden Suburb library
Television presenter Jonathon Ross led the crowds celebrating the opening of a new chapter at Hampstead Garden Suburb community library.
The event marked the turning-point in the library’s fortunes, after it had been earmarked for closure in April under sweeping cuts passed by Barnet Council.
Determined not to see their library’s story end in tragedy, residents battled to save it and pledged their money and time to secure its future.
Jonathan Ross, a regular visitor to the library in Hill Rise, said:
“It’s a difficult time for people out there, it is all doom and gloom in the news.
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“This is a story about community getting together. You see people who give their time for the good of their neighbourhood.
The father-of-three, who has lived in the Suburb for 12 years, added: “There’s no doubt about it: libraries are a good thing.
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“I remember when I was younger I used to like visiting the library.
“I used to take my youngest on a walk to the library as it was somewhere to go other than a pub.”
Library director Jeremy Clynes, who has fought tirelessly to rescue the library from closure, said: “It’s absolutely amazing. We put so much work into saving the library.
“It’s a credit to everyone’s efforts and it brings the community together.
“It is more than just a library.
Stuart Pactor, 73, of Hill Top, a volunteer library worker, said: “I was taken by my parents to the library and I now take my grand-kids here.
Cllr John Marshall said: “This is a proving to be a great asset for parents whose children benefit from the Rhyme Time and Sing Song Time that take place here.”
The library is running a whole range of new activities, such as Story Time for pre-school children. An adult book club is also in the pipeline.