Highgate Library Action Group has worked for the library for over twenty-five years – sometimes in line with Haringey Council policy and sometimes against. We have always based our work on the expectation that the library would stay in its wonderful old original building. This position has not changed.
The proposal to move Highgate Library to Jacksons Lane came as a surprise . HLAG was invited to join the feasibility study as an involved representative group of users. We knew that library users felt a strong loyalty to our existing building, and there would be opposition to any move; but if Council policy was to locate a new modern library in the Jacksons Lane building, it would clearly be vital to know what such a move would involve (specifically, and in detail). HLAG decided to hold back on making any outright “pro-” or “anti-” statement until discussions took place. Since then, we have met with the Haringey Council Library Service, the Trustees and the Chief Executive of Jacksons Lane, and the proposed project architect in both open and closed meetings. Throughout these meetings, our role has been to question the plans from a practical point of view. Some of these questions are listed below.
- Would it be possible to recreate a similar-sized library within the Jacksons Lane building, without compromising the financial viability of the Centre?
- What would such a library look like, and what advantages would there be for the users?
- Who would have overall responsibility for the library, and who would fund it?
- Would this move be best for the library?
- What does the future hold for our library in the present building? and will there be any money for repainting or running repairs?
- What other future plans do Haringey Council have for their branch libraries?