It’s the second birthday of our pop-up library at Willesden Green Station. Yes, it’s been two whole years since TfL allowed us to install our shelves and publicity materials at the station. In that time, we estimate we’ve placed over 1000 books. The library gets an approximately 500 visits a week, which is pretty amazing. Most of the stock is provided by Sonja, who also houses our larger collection of around 15,000 books in her garage, and has done for the last four years. The stock is topped up by donations to Sonja (who can also arrange to collect books locally), and by kind and generous supporters who drop books off on their way through the library.
In the time since the Willesden Green pop up was established, two more outposts have sprung up – one in Cricklewood Thameslink station forecourt, and the other in Kilburn Station. Both are restocked by volunteers, and are also very busy and much appreciated by visitors.
Recently, we’ve noticed that replenished stock has been cleared out very quickly – possibly by people not borrowing the books to read, but taking them to sell. There’s not a lot we can do about this, as the books are open access, but if you spot this kind of thing happening, please let the station staff know. Be assured that no-one from the library organisation will ever clear books out of the pop up libraries – we have enough books to stock our library when it finally opens, honest!
In order to help reduce theft, we’re thinking of introducing a stickering system, to make the books less saleable, but this will be labour intensive. If you’ve a better idea, please share! We really want the library to carry on, even after the permanent library is restored opposite Gladstone Park as we know it’s very much valued by residents and commuters. Please help us by continuing to borrow and return books and keeping your library alive.