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national year of reading 2008 is the National Year of Reading and Waltham Forest Council are marking it by continuing to deprive the local community of a much loved and valued Library.

It’s now 1 year since the council pretended to renovate St. James St. Library, then promptly closed the doors without proper local consultation or warning.

To mark the event and continue the campaign to get it reopened, The St James Library campaign are holding a special Open air Library this Saturday from 2pm – 4pm outside the former Library itself (top of Coppermill Lane/bottom of Walthamstow market).

There will be books galore to swap, children’s activities, Carole Vincent from Big Brother will be face painting and live music too (hopefully not from Carole).

Please show your support by going along, bring a book or two or alternatively just bring yourself.

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On Thursday BBC London visited the William Morris Gallery to film the 11,000 signature petition protesting at council cuts to both opening hours and its world renowned staff.

The news item featured Councillor Reardon trying to claim all is well, and the opening hours are fine but being forced to admit it will of course be closed for Easter.

The Keep Our Museums Open” website has more information on the cut backs (story so far here), and the fight to reverse them.

Why not celebrate William Morris’s birthday on bank holiday Monday 24 March, from 12pmby joining local residents at the Changing Room Gallery in Lloyds Park, where I’m reliably informed teas, cakes and drinks will be available, as well as entertainment.

OPEN AIR LIBRARY

Protest has never been so much fun.  After 40 years the council closed St. James Street Library without consultation and under the outright lie of claimed refurbishment, stripping the area of a valuable resource.

Residents formed The St James Street Library Campaign and are holding their own open air library outside its former home at the top of Coppermill Lane (bottom of the market).

Come along every Saturday in March from 1pm till 3pm (possibly4?) to swap books, have a natter, help the campaign, and fill out their questionnaire (download here).

Word has it that since the council torched a quarter of a million of the borough’s books the open air library actually has a better selection than the main library!

Picture taken from The Londonist’s excellent coverage of a previous open air library.

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