Saturday, 28 January 2012

Give Brent children the chance to be inspired

The following comment by the mother of Zadie Smith has been posted on Wembley Matters:

The current Brent Library Centre may not be one of the most attractive buildings, but it has provided residents from across Brent with a place to study, work and play for well over 20 years. It’s a place to just sit and read a good book. It is highly accessible for both young and old and for those with disability issues.

Over the years it has attracted a number of celebrity writers who have come along and inspire would be writers. It has hosted a number of cultural events/music festivals, the French market etc. It has attracted educators and community speakers. Local artist display their work. Would be local entrepreneurs test the waters there.

The children's library and various creative activities all offer much needed space for many families who live in overcrowded or otherwise inadequate homes. The wonderful Willesden Bookshop brought something unique to the area, and is well used by Brentites and schools.

 I am privileged to be the mother of the internationally acclaimed novelist Zadie Smith. Zadie and her brothers are all university graduates who have pursued careers in the arts. A major inspiration for all of them was the fact they had access to local libraries, the Kilburn Bookshop in the first instance and then to all our joy, our very own Willesden Bookshop.

Steve the owner of the bookshop has always been happy to have the youngest of children thumb through the books. 25 years later and my gorgeous granddaughters are enjoying the same privilege.

Please do not further reduce opportunities for Brent children to be inspired. Communities all over our towns and cities are becoming less and less cohesive. We want Willesden Green to keep its sense of community as far as is possible. Our Library Centre is a major way of encouraging this. It is the heart of our community bringing as it does people from across all ethnic, religious and class groups. It is a warm and safe place for people to spend time.

Rebuild by all means. But do not leave us with less than we had. And surely a special plea for our locally listed beautiful little library building not to be demolished. How can the architects say it cannot be incorporated! They are architects. They usually do what they are commissioned to do, don't they?

1 comment:

  1. Well said Yvonne, This is a most worthy cause. As you know, in addition to your gentle encouragement, Willesden Library and the bookshop have been essential resources for me as a mature student in gaining my BA in Literature in '09 and MA in creative writing last year. If I can assist your campaign in any way, please let know. David x


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