Predictions for 2009

1. Libraries will be in the news. More and more branch libraries are closing as councils look for easy targets to make their cutbacks.  Reasons given are that books are so cheap now everyone goes to Waterstone’s or Tesco’s so what’s the point of maintaining stock or buying in new books?  Crazy. Libraries serve a multitude of needs for a multitude of people. Older people needing large print books, students needing to study, the unemployed, migrants, asylum seekers, historians carrying out research, writers, parents with toddlers choosing new picture books… I could go on…

It’s not only public libraries that are being downsized, either. Many secondary schools don’t have trained librarians and some have disbanded their library area altogether in favour of IT suites.  How short-sighted is that? Bet the same schools have lousy GCSE results.

But help is at hand. Children’s writer Alan Gibbons is spearheading the Campaign for the Book. For details go to his website www.alangibbons.com where you can sign his online petition. Children’s librarians might be interested in attending the conference for the Campaign for the Book on June 27th in Birmingham.

2. The EURO 2009 Women’s Football Finals will be won by England after they beat either USA or Germany in the final.  You read it here first.

3. As a result of England’s win, sales of my *new series, Girls FC, will soar. At the same time, the number of girls aged 8-11 wanting to participate in the sport will increase dramatically, thus eliminating two of the major problems of British society – childhood obesity and indifference to reading – in one swoop. Go me! Go England Women!

* Out in August

Have a brilliant 2009

Helena

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