So it’s been a while… Maternity leave will do that to you! But I had to flag up the events of today, Save Our Libraries day – aimed at putting pressure on councils to keep libraries open at a time of budget cuts, but also to encourage people to value librarians in general, and the unique skillset they bring to the table. This industry has struggled of late, and it’s about time librarians were appreciated and respected.
I made a kind of pre-emptive strike at my local library, South Friern, on Wednesday because I wasn’t around today. I have a pile of books sitting in my hall waiting to be read, which makes me smile every time I pass it, and a pile of children’s books to work through as well. My three-year-old loves his weekly trip to the library, and I signed up my 4-month-old as Barnet’s newest member after her baby rhyme time debut this week (yet another valuable free library service).
The Guardian has been running a live blog all day, covering events around the country (although our library has shrunk from a staff of 15 when I started a decade ago to 5 1/2 now, so we’re not exactly immune either – just sayin’). Reading through the comments, this one really struck a chord and encapsulates perfectly the crucial role public libraries play for every member of the community.
The biggest risk in closing public libraries and mobile libraries is that the most vunerable groups – the poor, the unemployed, the elderly – will be disenfranchised. Let’s hope Jeremy Hunt, and councillors around the UK, are paying close attention.
Check out We Love Libraries for more on the campaign to save our libraries.