Meeting with Catherine West MP 9am 07/09/2019

We have organised a meeting with Catherine West MP to discuss our focus for the proposed renovations of Highgate Library, which include a lift and usage plus access of all three floors.

We feel that these need to be the main focus and not spending money on new chairs, when what is really needed is a building which serves all of our community with disability access and an inclusive approach.

Hope to see some of you then.


Tamara Cincik

Chair of the Friends of Highgate Library Shepherds Hill.




Friends of Highgate Library, Shepherds Hill (FOHLSH) was set up in April 2017 to fight the proposed closure of our beautiful library.  Thanks to the support of local residents and library users we were successful in our campaign in September 2017.

Since then we have had a number of successful events and produced a proposal for installing a lift in the library so that there is disabled access to the community rooms on the first floor.  In June 2018, Highgate Neighbourhood Forum, (HNF), listed that as a priority project for funding so the next step is to get funding for this from Haringey Council.


SATURDAY 7 JULY 2018, from 2pm – 4pm

Highgate Library, 1 Shepherds Hill, London N6 5QJ

Entrance Free: everyone welcome!

Come and meet Councillor Zena Brabazon, Haringey Cabinet

member with responsibility for Libraries, who will open the fair

The Highgate Cake Club will run from 2pm to 3pm

Poetry reading by children’s author, raffle with prizes, and more!

Celebrate that we stopped the closure of our wonderful library last year.

Come and meet other library users, join us for tea or soft drinks in the beautiful gardens!

Our Summer Fair is now on the Highgate Festival website!

We are delighted to announce that at our Summer Fair there will be a poetry workshop and event for children, with  writer  Joshua Seigel.  He is a children’s author who makes poetry fun.  He’s the author of the Bloomsbury Book I don’t like Poetry”.  Here’s his website

and some  reviews


Updated Information On Our Guy Fawkes Party 2 – 4pm 04/11/2017

FOHL guy fawkes party 

As well as Polly Faber offering readings from her hugely successful books.

As well as arts and crafts for children being led by a wonderful CSM Alumna talented creative, trained nursery teacher.

As well as soft drinks and cakes.

As well as a raffle, for which we already have donations from leading publishers and local stores.

We will also be hosting our own FOHLSH Feasibility Meeting and Report at the Guy Fawkes Event. Here you will be able to hear more about how to make Highgate Library work and blossom for 21st Century usage.

Also we have been kindly offered Elena Diaz: local leading make up artist, who will be at the library giving make overs for donations.

All proceeds will go to Highgate Library.


Save The Date: Guy Fawkes Afternoon Party 04/11 – Highgate Library – Shepherds Hill 2 – 4pm. Admission Free.

Friends Of Highgate Library – Shepherds Hill
Invite You To A
Guy Fawkes Party Afternoon of Library Free Fun


WHERE: 1 SHEPHERDS HILL HIGHGATE N6 5QJMango-and-Bambang-Video-End-Screen

Leading Local Children’s Author Polly Faber, creator of the much loved Mango & Bambang series will be giving readings.

Raffle Prizes * Storytelling * Cakes * Soft Drinks * Kids Arts & Crafts
* If You Want To Share Your Ideas For Adult & Children’s Classes – Please Come & Tell Us * All Money Raised Will Go Towards Supporting Highgate Library

Friends Of Highgate Library – Shepherds Hill Victory For The Campaign And For Local Library Users


Friends of Highgate Library – Shepherds Hill are delighted by the news from JLAC that in the face our our coherent, logical and consistent responses to their ideas to shoehorn Highgate Library from it’s much loved, current location into Jacksons Lane Arts Centre, they have now decided after all the money paid by Haringey to fund the feasibility: £24,000 without ever asking us the local library users or tax payers, whether this is how we wanted our money spent, to not go ahead with relocating Highgate Library. Imagine what that money could have done for our existing library?

From CEO of Jacksons Lane, James Tilston in today;s JLAC blog: “Proposals to consider relocating Highgate Library into a renovated Jacksons Lane will not now be taken forward. A feasibility study that explored a number of co-location options, showed that the estimated receipt from selling the existing library site would not be enough to cover the costs of creating the new library and that Jacksons Lane may lose revenue as a result of space lost to accommodating the library.”

All along we raised concerns not only for the feasibility of relocating a well used and very accessible library into a Grade 2 listed former church building on a busy road, but also in each of the plans drawn up by Katy Marks there were clear compromises, not only for the library, but also for JLAC, who would lose vital space to make their business grow.
We do indeed wish them a bright future, but wish that they had asked locals first before embarking something clearly so unpopular and to the detriment of the community: many of whom love and use both spaces.

Our work will continue: we will be at the JLAC public meeting: details here –

“Jacksons Lane will host a public meeting at 6.30pm on Monday, September 18 to present an overview of the feasibility study, answer questions, and present further information about their ambitions for the future of the building.”

Where they will showcase their on-going designs, which you can view here:-

We will be hosting our own feasibility meeting for a future vision for Highgate Library in it’s current location. We don’t have £24,000 from Haringey Council to fund this, but we do have local support and architects creating plans to match ideas, in response to our local library users survey, for what people want from the space. Please take 2 minutes to do the survey, if you haven’t yet:

We are collating ideas for evening and afternoon classes for children and adults. Classes which will use all the space and the unique garden, Highgate Library has on offer.

We are hosting a FOHL Guy Fawkes Autumn Party at Highgate Library, 2 – 4pm on 04/11, entrance free and all very welcome. Local author Polly Faber has agreed to do readings from her books, more information on this to follow.

And we will continue to hold Haringey Council to account, because until we started campaigning, there was no discussion that JLAC would have their match fund from Haringey if the feasibility report showed it was not feasible. What was said until we attended the Cabinet meeting of Haringey Council in June, was the library had to be sold to match fund AND that there would be no public engagement.

And while we managed to campaign vigorously and maintain a presence at every meeting, without a future with a public engagement process, we were worried by the utter lack of accountability and recourse with these very unpopular and unnecessary plans.
With this in mind therefore with a background where last year Highgate Library had no printer and only last month no wifi, while we read reports from Haringey that it loves libraries, with the Save Hari campaign highlighting the loss of every single children’s librarian in the Borough, while Cllr Kobe’s quoted as saying this: “We always welcome innovative suggestions for making the most of Haringey’s fantastic assets, which is why we were happy to consider relocating Highgate Library to Jacksons Lane – which had the potential to create an exciting new cultural hub,” when the reality of the offer was a shoehorning, a complete lack of understanding of what SEN users needs are, and a loss of a wonderful existing Edwardian building, with so much to offer, if run properly, there is nothing innovative or exciting about it. Highgate Library is an enduring asset to our local community and long may it remain so.

Notes to Editors:

T: @HighgateStays

FOHL Guy Fawkes Autumn Party: 2 – 4pm 04/11/2017
1 Shepherds Hill, Highgate, London N6 5QJ
Entrance Free.

Our Highgate Library Remains Feasibility meeting: Date in Autumn TBC.

JLAC Feasibility Report – Done But Where Is It?

As we know, JLAC have been funded by Haringey to produce a report by Katy Marks, the architect chosen by JLAC to design their refurbishments and now to explore adding in the library service.
Their report is now apparently ready.
There has been a narrative of delays and lack of public knowledge through this whole process: a meeting with Haringey with no real advertising, until we did, JLAC delaying a deadline for survey responses, but not telling anyone, until we did, Haringey repeatedly saying they want to listen, but not holding a public consultation.
No wonder people are so upset and angry.
Last year the printer at Highgate Library didn’t work for most of the year, last month, the wifi and computers didn’t work for 4 weeks. With library users being asked to go elsewhere, to have these user numbers then be quoted as a reason to relocate, seems very disingenuous of Haringey.
Boosting the income of one local venue, which is a private arts centre, no longer a community centre, at the cost and loss of a local landmark public library, which offers a free and accessible to all 6 day a week service, doesn’t seem community minded, or fully engaging for the entire local community. As many have said, it seems divisive, greedy and worrying.
JLAC cite their 3,800 a week users as a success and a reason to co-locate the library. However the library has 1,150 users a week. It is open for fewer hours and is not using all it’s space, so more than half the size smaller. So how are these entry stats a success for JLAC, but not for Highgate Library?
We have asked for a date for the grand JLAC feasibility report reveal from Haringey Library Services, but told that they don’t know yet.
If they showcase that the relocation of Highgate Library into JLAC is feasible: which has always seems a moot point, as in theory we could all walk on a tightrope, but in reality only tightrope walkers can, then Haringey Cabinet will vote on this. Given they voted with no abstentions to agree the sell off in principle in June, before the feasibility report had even been started, there is real concern that despite of all our hard work and a clear strong desire for Highgate Library to best use it’s current location and remain where it is, that Haringey are proving single minded in their zeal to NOT listen to us, the library users, to NOT have a public consultation and now, NOT even have any real engagement with locals.
That is why our survey: is important to start showcasing our ideas for how to best use the library on Shepherds Hill.
We are collating ideas for how to respond to the JLAC feasibility report once it is public with our vision for Highgate Library Remains. We will be hosting a public event and detailing our ideas.
Watch this space.