Voices for the Library

Libraries are under threat - Voices for the Library aims to give librarians and users a voice.

Ok, probably should have posted on this more than just adding a page about it in the menu bar.  Quite frankly, I haven’t had the time what with studying and being involved in a national campaign (it’s hard work you know!).  So, what prompted me to write something now?  This piece on The Guardian‘s website:

An urgent message to local authority chiefs about the value of the public library service has gone out today from a coalition of authors, publishers, librarians, library campaigners and booksellers.

The unprecedented joint initiative – bringing together groups that are frequently found on opposing sides of the debate on libraries – has been timed to coincide with tomorrow’s comprehensive spending review announcements, widely expected to put major pressure on libraries as cash-strapped councils look for cuts in the face of slashed budgets.

The Society of Authors, The Royal Society of Literature, the Publishers Association, the Booksellers Association, Campaign for the Book, The Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) and the Society of Chief Librarians (SCL), along with librarians’ group Voices for the Library and charity The Reading Agency, have all signed up to the letter, which urges the heads of local authorities to recognise the value of the service. Public sector union Unison, which represents library workers, has also expressed support for the message.

Yes, our campaign has now hit the national press.  Whilst this is obviously a cause for celebration as a team, the article itself reinforces quite how serious this issue is.  Libraries are seriously under threat as a result of the impending government cuts.  Cuts that are, in my personal opinion not necessarily that of the rest of the group, completely unnecessary.  The destruction of our library service could do serious long-term damage to our society.  Disenfranchising the most vulnerable in society and widening the gap between the information haves and have-nots.  Not to mention the damage that will be done to our democracy.

So, if you want to support our campaign, visit our website, read what we are all about and sign here to pledge your support.  Once you’ve done that, join our Facebook Page and, if you’re on Twitter, you can follow us there too.  We really hope that we can continue to gain support for our campaign and we need as many people as possible to sign the pledge, join our various groups and get involved in saving libraries.  It’s not going to be easy but, by giving library users and library staff a voice, we hope we can challenge the belief that libraries should be the first target for public sector cuts.  I am proud to be associated with just such a campaign, I truly hope that you join us.

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