Save Cardiff

It’s time to write more letters. Love letters, even.

We were successful in Liverpool. Enough people did enough good things – including writing love letters – that the plans to close a dreadfully large number of the libraries in Liverpool got changed. It didn’t make the protesters terribly popular with the Mayor, but who cares?

Now it is Cardiff Central Library which needs your help. It is shrinking, as parts of the library are closed and turned over to other local council offices.

This is bad in itself, but what has particularly shocked me is that library staff are not allowed to speak publicly about this. When did freedom of speech end, resulting in people fearing for their jobs if they talk about what’s happening? Closing libraries is bad. So is people being made redundant. And to top it all, they are forbidden to speak about it.

I am no expert on library closures, and I know very little about what is going on in Cardiff. Author and artist Jackie Morris has a better idea, and here is her blog post about it. There are names and addresses of who to write to, but you have less than a week in which to do it.

Please write if you can. It might annoy the recipient. And it might mean libraries will still be here for the next generation. To be really optimistic, even the generation after that. People will be able to [learn to] read. To make use of their rights in society. To write letters of protest when things are wrong. (You can see why the politicians might not be in favour of that though.)

3 responses to “Save Cardiff

  1. I think the stopping of closures in Liverpool was disingenuous smoke and mirrors also. I hadn’t realised there was less than a week to do this. I get these ideas that I will do something to help and then I think, I’ll just go and paint this feather, I’ll do it when I have done this…… and time slips through my fingers.
    I will do it. Today I will do it.
    I am hoping to discover more about libraries over the next few weeks.
    I have no idea how to join the British Library. It always seemed to be such an imposing institute, for other people, not for me. But it is mine. It’s yours. It belongs to everyone. And not just us but all those yet to be born.
    So, yes, we need to act. Because those who govern us seem to be the most uncreative, un-empathic holders of purse strings. And they are taking away things that are precious. Not just the buildings. The books. The people, they are the real value of the library. The librarians. So, I will go and paint a feather. But then I will write my letter and put in envelopes and put on stamps and go and post it. Because it might not make a difference, but maybe, just maybe it will. And the more people who do it, the more chance we have for change.
    I have asked people to post a copy of their letter on my blog post as a comment. Love letters for change. Please do.
    It’s all about knowledge. And knowledge is power.

  2. I think it was a fb friend who posted something about a library user who needed help from the librarian to deal with (I think) a rent related problem, and who really did need help, because they couldn’t read.

  3. I remember being in a library when a man and his son walked over to me. He said thank you to me for my books. He said they allowed him to read to his children, because he is illiterate. He could read the pictures and make up the stories. I have to say I was very moved. 1:4 of the UK population NOW are functionally illiterate. That’s too high. Too high. But imagine how that will climb if access to books becomes more difficult. Great damage has already been done to the most democratic of library services, the Schools Library Service. It’s a massive error of judgement and an ignorant lack of understanding that is leading to the closure of libraries, the drawing back of hours and the loss of library staff.

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