As you know, I’ve been blogging about libraries and how brilliant they are for ages (I am so on-trend!). So have many other children’s authors. Recently, though, I’ve noticed a sea-change. There is now an urgency to these blogs and tweets. A realisation that, if we don’t do something soon, we’ll be talking about libraries as a thing of the past. ‘Oh, I remember libraries. I used to go there as a kid. Whatever happened to them?’ I wrote a playlet called ‘Tea time at Tescos’ for Alan Gibbons ‘Campaign for the Book’ http://alangibbons.net/?page_id=206website two years ago. Everything I wrote then seems to have come to pass, both nationally and at a local level. Unfortunately I lost my original manuscript when my hard drive crashed so I’m going to need to re-write it. I can’t find it on Alan’s blog either; it’s been lost in the sheer density of the campaign.
We all know we are going through hard, economic times. The last government pumped millions into schools etc but it used money we hadn’t got so now we have to take it all back again. Cuts to public services are inevitable but it seems to be the library services who are feeling the full brunt of it. Why? Because libraries are an easy target, that’s why. Talk about bad timing – when the UK has fallen from 7th to 17th in the world in terms of literacy. 17th! The nation that brought you Chaucer and Shakespeare and Rainbow Fairies. What? It doesn’t make any sense to cut library funding now. Is it because we’ve dumbed down so much we don’t know how dumb we are? Listen Mr Cameron; tell your MPs to tell their councils that it’s all about books, stupid!
Read this brilliant poem by Keren David on her blog (December 3rd) about who uses libraries: http://wheniwasjoe.blogspot.com/
Flipping heck I’m all in a lather now. I need to go relax; I know – I’ll read a book …
If you love libraries, leave a comment. Tell me about yours. It it in your town or school? Is it a mobile one? Old? New? What about your librarian? Let’s hear it for him or her! Come on!
Photo from www.uky.edu at the William T Young Library.