MORE than 40 people gathered in solidarity and to mark the end of the pop-up library, which has been a feature of the community for more than three years.

People in Kensal Rise met at the former library building in Bathurst Gardens at 3.30pm today after finding out that morning that the books and shelves had been removed and chanted in the rain in front of the debris.

They chanted "books not flats" and have been fighting against the closure of the library since October 2011 but today the building passed to developer Andrew Gillick.

All Souls College, which took over ownership once the building had ceased to be used as a library, sold it to the property developer and needed the site to be completely empty.

At 5am the pop-up library with shelves, books, plants and a piano was demolished.

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Phil O’Shea, part of the library campaign, said: “I heard it was being taken down at 5am. The extraordinary thing is that for over two years while the pop-up library has been here there hasn’t been one incident of vandalism. Taking it down they have broken all the shelving and there were plants here as well, the books have been damaged. They could have talked to the campaign before they took it down but we knew nothing about it.”

Richard Tufnell, from Cluttons estate agents which represents All Souls, said: “We had to have vacant possession of the building from today. We had also been asked by the council last year to remove the pop-up library, but this wasn’t done. The pop-up library was trespassing on the library property.”