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Islington celebrates opening of Cat and Mouse Library – London’s newest library

Face painting at Cat and Mouse opening

Face painting at Cat and Mouse opening

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Islington Council is bucking the national trend of library closures by opening the brand new Cat And Mouse Library in Holloway.

Cat And Mouse Library, at 277 Camden Road, N7 0JN, includes new computers, study space, new books for adults, teens and children and is fully accessible.

Residents came along to celebrate when it officially opened its doors on Saturday, 2 December.

The opening day included fantastic performances from top poets Paul Lyalls and John Hegley, and opportunities for children to get crafty by making their own books with the Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art.

Families were invited to take part in a Baby Jazz session which included original songs and favourite nursery rhymes with live jazz accompaniment, and older residents were invited to try some gentle yoga in a session organised by charity Healthy Generations.

Cllr Asima Shaikh, Islington Council’s executive member for economic development, said: “I am delighted that we are opening this new library for our residents. We know that libraries really matter to our residents which is why Islington Council continues to support and protect all our libraries in Islington.

“Our libraries help residents by providing a huge range of services - from study space and homework clubs for children and young people, to free courses and one-to-one support in digital and other vital employability skills.

“They are welcoming places where people and communities come together to meet, mix and share. They also help children and adults to discover a love of reading through family-friendly activities, such as our popular ‘baby bounce’ and under 5s sessions, storytelling sessions and adult and teen reading groups.

“In Islington every library matters and no matter what your interest, we have something to offer.”

Cat and Mouse Library replaces John Barnes Library, which closed its doors in 2015 as part of a major Islington Council project to build new council homes as well as a new library. Its name was chosen to reflect the link between the suffrage movement and nearby Holloway prison, and pay homage to the heroism of women trying to obtain the vote. The library houses a permanent exhibition explaining the fascinating history of Holloway prison and honouring the courage of the suffragettes, who confronted legislation set up to defeat them, which became known as The Cat And Mouse Act.

Cat and Mouse Library will have a great programme of regular events, including baby bounce and under 5s sessions, a reading group, homework club and a monthly Lego club.

All of Islington’s libraries are gearing up for a bumper year of special events in 2018, including the Winter Reading Challenge for children, the launch of the first word-inspired garden in the borough as part of June’s Word Festival and #Everyoneastoryteller – which will see storytelling sessions delivered by everyone from firefighters to drag queens.

For more information about Islington libraries and what’s on please visit and follow us on Twitter @islingtonlibs.



Councillors and council staff at Cat and Mouse Library

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Owen and Jesse try new computers at Cat and Mouse library

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Children enjoy new books at Cat and Mouse library

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