12:40pm Monday 17th October 2011
By Natalie O'Neill
CAMPAIGNERS hosted a day of celebrations in honour of Friern Barnet Library, in an attempt to show Barnet Council it is at the heart of the community.
Cabinet members approved plans to move the library into the artsdepot, nearly two miles away, in North Finchley back in July.
But members of Save Friern Barnet Library Campaign, who have been desperately fighting the plans, were thrown a lifeline when the Cabinet announced they have until October 31 to come up with ways to run their community hub more efficiently.
Just days before the group are due to submit their proposals, around 300 people turned out to show their support on the village green in Friern Barnet Road.
Families got involved in apple bobbing, leaf tracing, poster competitions, fancy dress and arts and crafts.
Martin Russo, a member of the campaign, said: “We wanted to celebrate the library to show how much we care and love it as a valued resource for all the community.
"It’s an educational service, a place for young and old to meet people, a place to take refuge from the weather and a place to find out about work – the library really is at the heart of our community."
A petition has been signed by more than 3,000 people, who argue the closure would affect the most vulnerable people in the area, as well as be to the detriment of hundreds of children’s literacy levels.
On Saturday, people also had a chance to learn more about the campaign’s imminent application for village green status. The group needs to argue the green has been used by the public for 20 years. If the status is successfully granted, they hope it can be used to prevent the library being sold off.
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