It’s National Library Day tomorrow and your presence is requested at a library near you.
So many authors – and other people – are working hard to save our endangered libraries. Joanna Kenrick has set up a Facebook page with links to libraries known to be under threat. My own local council appears not to have made its mind up yet, so there are no listed libraries for me. That doesn’t mean they are safe; just that I will find out later.
Worth seeing where you can go, and do attend another library if your own is ‘safe’. There will be readings and many other things happening and hopefully it will prove to be a turning point for the future of books.
Theresa Breslin, a former librarian herself, has been rallying her fellow Scottish authors to meet up and hand in a petition at the Scottish Parliament at 11 o’clock on Saturday morning:
SCOTTISH PROTEST AT LIBRARY CUTS
TEXT OF STATEMENT TO BE HANDED IN AT THE SCOTTISH PARLIAMENT DURING A PROTEST ORGANISED BY SCOTTISH AUTHORS & ILLUSTRATORS TO TAKE PLACE AT
11a.m. ON SATURDAY 5TH FEBRUARY 2011 – A day of U.K. wide protest about Library Cuts.
We would like to protest at the widespread cuts to the library service taking place throughout Scotland. In addition to the promotion of knowledge, literacy, and information retrieval skills, a professionally delivered library service embeds the joy of reading in our young people, building self awareness, articulate self expression, confidence, validating their life and culture, and leads to social and emotional literacy. In a society experiencing a widening gap in household incomes, our libraries, in the great tradition on which they were first inaugurated and enshrined in the law of the land, provide access for all. The cuts to book budgets, library opening hours, mobile services, branches, and the drastic and unnecessary deletion of professional posts strike at those most in need of a library service and those least able to protest against the cuts in that service – the less affluent, the elderly, the frail, people who are challenged mentally and physically and their carers, those who look after babies and toddlers and, crucially, our children – who are our future.
Among those PRESENT ON THE DAY and available for interview will be: Julia Donaldson (writer), Theresa Breslin (writer), Lari Don (writer), Nicola Morgan (writer), Liz Holt (writer).
PROTESTERS (among others) include: Theresa Breslin, Julia Donaldson, Emma Barnes, Lari Don, Catriona Wilson, Nicola Morgan, Gillian Philip, Joan Lingard, Margaret Ryan, Catherine MacPhail, Sara Sheridan, Catherine Forde, Frank Rodgers, Barry Hutchison, Liz Holt, Alison Prince.