There has been an angry response on social media after a pop-up library in London was closed by All Souls’ College.
Kensal Rise pop-up library, built on All Souls’ property, was raided early this morning. Photos from Kensal Green, in North West London, show books left on the pavement after agents from Cluttons, a property firm, took the gazebo holding the library down.
Despite condemnation by campaigners, a spokesperson from All Souls College said a “hysterical twitosphere” has misrepresented the incident. He noted that Brent Council had told All Souls’ that the library breached planning law, and that the College intends to convert 1,500 sq ft of the space into a new library for residents of Brent, which could not be built with the pop-up library in place.
He also commented, “We moved it because we had to. We moved the books, we did not destroy any books.”
The building reverted to become property of All Souls in October 2011 after Brent Council closed the library. Campaigners then set up a pop-up library made of wood, metal poles and a tarpaulin against the building.
A spokesperson for Cluttons commented, “Following an extensive examination of the various options put forward for the future of the former library building, the College considers that a sale to Kensal Properties, and their proposals for the property, provides a viable long term future for the building.
“This proposal not only meets the College’s Charities Act obligations, but it also provides for a community library facility. In order to progress with these plans, and for health and safety and insurance reasons, the property has had to be cleared.”
Nevertheless, the incident was condemned on Twitter.
— KJ Charles (@kj_charles) January 31, 2014
— Meg Howarth (@howarthm) January 31, 2014
— Cllr. Muhammed Butt (@CllrButt) January 31, 2014