Only a temporary facility. But see, he has read at least one book.
Apologies to all female library staff. And to all women living in or beyond the boundaries of the London Borough of Broken Barnet.
Yes: Robert may have locked the doors of Friern Barnet Library, and thrown away the key, but tomorrow there will be a pop up 'People's Library' event in a marquee on the green outside the building, organised by Barnet Eye blogger Roger Tichborne. Between 11 and 1, you can come along to exchange, donate, or borrow books and help publicise the terrible fate which has befallen this much loved library, which was, as you may recall, occupied by residents and campaigners last week in protest at the closure.
In today's Independent there is an interesting article by its literary editor, award winning journalist and former Booker Prize judge Boyd Tonkin, who grew up in the area and frequented the local library as a child. Boyd has written quite extensively about the campaign to save what he describes as 'the library that nourished my childhood reading', and today he has this to say:
The snoopers shut my library
"Despite the tenacity of local campaigners, culminating in a last-ditch sit-in, the library that enchanted my childhood - Friern Barnet in north London – shut its doors last week. Barnet Council, Tory-run and dismissive of a Labour-majority ward, behaved with stubborn arrogance. It has done next to nothing to back its claim that a new library within a local arts centre would replace the branch: a mere "temporary facility" is promised. Protestors feel "deceived, manipulated and mistreated". As for Barnet's abysmal leadership, don't take my word for it but listen to their political ally Eric Pickles. The Communities Secretary last year flayed Barnet for hiring private security to snoop on troublesome bloggers (at a cost of over £1m.) "without a tendering exercise, without a written contract, and no proper invoicing". Indeed, Pickles hailed Barnet bloggers' "microjournalism" as "the perfect counterblast to town hall Pravdas". Wasteful, secretive, borderline-illegal: just the kind of council that closes libraries."
Show Barnet's abysmal leadership how you feel about your community: support the residents of Friern Barnet and come along, with any books you think may be appropriate, and make the point that Barnet Council may have locked the doors to the library, but the electors of Broken Barnet hold the key to the future direction of this borough, when they next place their votes in the ballot box.