Friday, 11 February 2011

Save Libraries

Borrow more books

I love these vintage style photos in support of libraries. Phil Bradley, the vice-president of CILIP, designed them to help support libraries in the UK. Because of all the cuts that the Tory government are instating, local authorities are being forced to make huge cuts in their annual budgets. Sadly, this means libraries are also being forced to make savings. Up to 400 libraries are currently going to be closed, with many more likely to be announced. I understand you're probably thinking 'oh yes, of course Helen wouldn't want libraries to close, she'll have no job. A turkey wouldn't vote for Christmas', but from a personal perspective I can see how worthwhile public libraries are. My sister always takes my niece to our rhyme time and she loves being read to already at only 6 months old. My Grandad would always visit the library too when he first came to England, it was his was of educating himself. He would always read to me as a child and fascinate me with all of his stories & facts.

I know that so many of my blog readers are fans of libraries & visit them often, but I also know that some people may like the idea of them but not visit as much as they would like to. Now is the perfect time to rediscover your library! Even if you don't read a lot of fiction, why not check out the cookery book section or the DVDs that libraries now have?

If you're not entirely convinced about libraries, please do not be so quick to write them off. The Internet has not replaced libraries. Just last week I held 'Get Online' sessions in work and helped 17 people get online who had never been on the internet before. People cannot afford computers & internet connections and the library is their only access to the world wide web. Here are some links to have a quick read of:

'Libraries gave us power' - Nicky Wire on libraries
Voices for the library - great website with many testimonies of the power of libraries.
The Guardian's libraries page.

And don't forget to show your local library some love!

29 comments:

  1. Fantastic post - totally agree, save out libraries! Love the poster too!x

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  2. Very well said! We have to save the libraries for the future - once they are gone it'll be far to costly to bring them back.

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  3. Hear hear! I can't believe what your government is doing to your country - apparently Cameron said during PMQs that those libraries would survive which use new technologies - as if they were factories or business. Very strange.

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  4. Im SO glad you wrote this post :)

    By god, I really am so angered and upset about the recent announcement of library closures. I just dont think people are aware enough of quite the things available at libraries. I think there are a few reasons of this, including dare I say lithargic (sp?ekk) librarians who are, in honestly, not quite marketing their library in the way they could.

    I think, not to suck up, but libraries need more people like you, who ooze enthusiasm and new approaches and ideas. It is you that has driven me to libraries more, to delve deep to find the things IM interested in,to look beyond those "a typical" fiction books.

    When I have children, I hope to bring them into the culture of going to the library every saturday morning, to educate them in the benefits of libraries and just why we need them, and why they need us. If they are still here/

    xxxx

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  5. Thanks for this post. I'm finding the idea of libraries closing so upsetting - they were a formative part of my childhood. Every Friday, my mum would take us to the library and we were allowed to pick our books for the weekend. It was a total joy and I'm sure without libraries I would never have loved books or reading as much as to pursue an academic career in literature. I can't bear to think that I might not be able to do the same with my children when I have them.

    Great picture too! x

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  6. Love the poster Helen and I totally agree with you about the necessity of libraries (and friendly librarians).
    I use libraries for:

    1. Local history and genealogical research. They often have access to databases which I cannot afford to have access to, or only want to check. They have local publications which no one else has and are no longer in print.
    2. Obviously, to borrow books.
    3. A cool spot to read on a hot day!
    4. To access yesterdays, or the day befores, newspapers - no it is NOT all online.
    5. For advice.

    Libraries in Australia are usually filled during the school year with young adults in the final years at school studying in small groups.

    I worked for a company some years ago which had a large library and when we were taken over the first thing done was to retrench the librarian and literally send the books to the dump. They found the cost to the company actually went up as rather than the library have subscriptions, publications and books - many individuals actually ordered the same things, or worse still make decisions without the knowledge previously obtained from the library.
    They tried to reestablish the library but found it was just too costly.
    I still have the two huge volumes of dictionary rescued from the rubbish, along with a number of other references.

    Close libraries and dumb down the masses - do it at your peril.

    Keep up the fight Helen, cheers Will.

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  7. As a lover of literature and future librarian, I completely understand your frustration. I read a lot, but unfortunately it's only ever University books that I end up loaning out! I should support my local public library more.
    Will (or 'Anonymous') you made a really good point also- libraries are crucial for the education of those who can't afford to buy their own books. Oh and I loved that poster too...

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  8. I adore my local libraries, I have a huge selection of cook books so it saves me a fortune off amazon!

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  9. Well said! It's sad that many things are being effected. When my eldest was growing up we visited the libary loads, it was free and educational and above all enjoyable. Then as as she got older she used it as a student.

    I must admit I now tend to either buy books from the charity shop or amazon! But after reading this I shall have a trip to the libary next time I need a new book.

    X x

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  10. terrific post! I love my library, and I would be devastated if it had to close down. Honestly, I don't understand why so many people don't even go to the library at all.

    There's so much that a library brings to its community.

    p.s. LOVE that artwork too :)

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  11. You're right, libraries are so much more than books. I'm dismayed at the way the govt is going on - libraries, forests, public toilets!!!

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  13. Here here! I work in a specialist library but I used to be a public librarian in Leeds, they are vital resources for everyone. I wrote a post recently about how I use our library loads even though I can afford to buy books (I am sick of hearing the argument that 'books are so cheap who needs libraries', they're not cheap if you're already struggling with your budget just to buy food), it's to support the library and also so my house doesn't drown in books that I only end up reading once.

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  14. Totally agree with you Helen! More people need to use and appreciate libraries, because they are awesome. I do hope that not too many British libraries will be closed down.

    Leia

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  15. Couldn't agree more! I read so fast that if libraries were not around I literally would not be able to afford to read. I've been borrowing books (and paying fines!) since I was tiny and must have read thousands of library books.

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  16. I love libraries. They are some of the only places that I feel safe and at home. I am very sorry to hear that Cameron's tax cuts are going to close down some libraries, especially because we've always been taught that the UK has the best libraries in the world. I heard some got their neighbourhood to borrow all the books! I hope people get pro-active and save books for the kids of tomorrow. ;/

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  17. great post, libraries arw wonderful. I use university ones rather than council ones, so I suppose I'm part of the problem :(
    Have you read Philip Pullman's library piece yet?

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  18. Lovely post! I used to love going to the library as a child; I'd borrow so many books and I genuinely believe all that reading is what eventually meant I did so well at English in school. It's a shame that future generations may not have that luxury, especially when it seems so many kids would rather spend money on computer games than books.

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  19. I've said it before but I'd be SO lost without my local library. I wouldn't be able to afford to read without them!

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  20. Great post, as an avid reader i think the cuts are absolutely awful. I spend whole days working in the library, or using the internet when its down at home and of course finding new books. I know that my grandad would have been lost without his local library too! It sounds cliche but it really is liking taking knowledge away from people x

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  21. One of the best things about my house is that it's literally round the corner from my local library. It doesn't have the greatest selection of books in the world but I shudder to think how much I'd spend on books without it.

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  22. i absolutely agree and my city library is a great favourite of mine.

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  23. I love my local library and will be heartbroken if/when it closes.

    It's sad that when there are cuts to be made, the first things that go are the things that improve our minds :(

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  24. I totally agree with you. It's so nice to see all these pro-library posts popping up on the blogs I follow, it seems to have really struck a nerve. I'm a librarian too, although I work in the charity sector so I'm not personally affected by the cuts (yet). I wrote a wee blog post recently about how we crafters should make better use of our public libraries (http://carlymakesstuff.blogspot.com/2011/01/love-your-library-crafters-perspective.html) - I think we need to keep trying to raise awareness as much as possible. Thanks for posting. xx

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  25. You already know I lvoe these posters, but I am so behind the cause too. Luckily my local library isn't one slated for closure but there are a lot in my area that are set to go, which is just so sad.

    You would think that libraries would be at the heart of Cameron's 'big society', but then he probably has his own library in his mansion and doesn't realise that us plebs need to get our books from somewhere!

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  26. I couldn't agree with you more! Thankfully, my local libraries haven't closed, but many had to reduce staff and cut back hours in recent years due to budget shortages. It makes me sad because libraries are so much more than places that hold books. The librarians are a wealth of knowledge, and libraries have a lot of archival materials that are not online. I also think people would read less if they closed because it's too expensive to buy every new book you want to read. There needs to be more publicity about all that libraries have to offer, to people of all ages, so the public knows what a treasure they're in danger of losing!

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  27. I love this picture! I'm a library assistant myself and also remember your outfit posts from thehighstreet so am following you now, love the blog :)

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  28. excellent post, great to see so much bloggers support of an educated future for everyone to access. x

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