News

Hundreds of thousands join library protests

The nation is gearing up for the first Save Our Libraries day on Saturday (5th February), with around 80 events planned around the UK and “hundreds of thousands” of supporters thought to be backing the cause.

Authors Philip Pullman, Kate Mosse, G P Taylor, Julia Donaldson and Mary Hoffman will be among the authors ­taking part. In Gloucestershire, where events are being held in 11 libraries, a group of authors and poets will carry out a “flying authors” tour travelling by plane. At Sydenham library in London, 26 balloons will be released, each bearing a letter of the alphabet to symbolise how libraries contribute to the literacy of the country. Meanwhile, in Scotland, an author group led by Julia Donaldson will deliver a statement of protest to the Scottish parliament.

Active social networking on Facebook and Twitter from librarian group Voices for the Library, the Chartered Institute of Library & Information Professionals and The Bookseller’s own Fight for Libraries campaign, which now has 3,000 followers, is spreading awareness. Supporters are being urged to take part in protest events, tweet on hashtag #savelibraries, or join or visit their local library on 5th February and take out their full allowance of books.

Some library supporter numbers can be gauged by the quantities of people signing paper petitions: 18,500 in Somerset, 13,000 in Dorset, 1,200 In Brighton, 20,000 in Lewisham, 15,000 in Gloucestershire and 2,500 for Stony Stratford library alone. Many more are participating online. Leading campaigner Desmond Clarke estimated “hundreds of thousands” were now behind the cause.

On Wednesday (2nd February), Somerset campaigners held a flash mob at the British Library in Euston, beaming their self-produced “We Love Libraries” film, with contributions from Glastonbury ­founder Michael Eavis and John Bird of the Big Issue, onto the walls of the building.

Comments: Scroll down for the latest comments and to have your say

By posting on this website you agree to the Bookseller comments policy. Comments go direct to live please be relevant, brief and definitely not abusive. Report any "unsuitable comments by clicking the links"

From Australia, where we are also facing cuts to library services, I hope the protests produce the desired result for readers!

Here in Paignton Devon, we have been fortunate enough to have a new multi million pound library built. After royalty and relevant government ministers were 'unable' to attend, most major publishers were asked if they could provide a high profile author to do the ceremonial opening. Sadly not one could come up with a single name. Strange, considering all this publicity.
There's still time to get a plaque up on probably the last new library built in this country. So get in touch if you know of any newsworthy name who might like a visit to Paignton!

Many more libraries in Gloucestershire will be visited by authors tomorrow than has been reported above. So far, all but four of the 43 libraries in the county will get a visit. John Dougherty and myself, both authors for children, will visit 18 between them, running brief sessions as well as taking out a book from each library they visit.

Here at Stradbroke, in Suffolk, we are holding a read-in tomorrow at 10a.m. Our local village library, housed in a historic building, is one of 29 libraries in Suffolk threatened with closure. We appear to have the support of our local MP, Daniel Poulter, but have not yet had a definitive message of support from our local councillor, who sits on the Suffolk County Council Cabinet, Guy McGregor. We have distributed almost 1,000 leaflets calling for support of the National Day of Action, and are hopeful that many people will turn out to suppport the cause.

Alas, I am in France or would be there fighting with you, reading, performing, scribbling. At best, I am signing my name to every campaign I can find.
There are few resources that are more important than the libraries. They are the fields of imagination from which grow the strength of present and future generations. They offer to everybody, all of us whether poor, rich, dyslexic, literate, the possibility to fly, to dream, to be whoever we wish and in the company of whoever we choose. They offer everyone of us the opportunity to be a muscle within the body of society.
To cut back on libraries, to close libraries, is one of the most shortsighted actions any government could possibly perform. It is an act of blindness and in my opinion shows a true lack of understanding of all that a society is built open and flourishes by.
God help Britain.
Carol Drinkwater
author/actress

Alas, I am in France or would be there fighting with you, reading, performing, scribbling. At best, I am signing my name to every campaign I can find.
There are few resources that are more important than the libraries. They are the fields of imagination from which grow the strength of present and future generations. They offer to everybody, all of us whether poor, rich, dyslexic, literate, the possibility to fly, to dream, to be whoever we wish and in the company of whoever we choose. They offer everyone of us the opportunity to be a muscle within the body of society.
To cut back on libraries, to close libraries, is one of the most shortsighted actions any government could possibly perform. It is an act of blindness and in my opinion shows a true lack of understanding of all that a society is built open and flourishes by.
God help Britain.
Carol Drinkwater
author/actress

The strangeness of life:Most of the people getting hot under the collar about these closures don't even use their libraries.You don't know what you have, until you lose it.

Full details of events in Gloucestershire libraries - 48 author, poet, storyteller or character visits across 35 libraries - can be found here.

Astonishingly, Gloucestershire County Council have effectively censored these events by banning any photography or filming by official media representatives in the libraries on the day.

That's very strange, Matthew! I grew up and live in Paignton, and it is indeed a FABULOUS new library... OK, so I'm not high profile enough to open it, but I'm an award-winning children's author and know of several others who live in the area and might be happy to do so. Which publishers were asked?

Please save our libraries - the cornerstone of decent civilisation, literacy and community.

I shouldn't have to be saying this,of course ! But in my lifelong love of the printed word, I certainly am adding my voice of 'no library cuts', to the campaign.
Keep the libraries ! Why is the so called Coalition condoning what amounts to a BOOK BURNING * exercise ??

When did you last hear that phrase * ?

@Carol Drinkwater .... stick to your olives and do not patronise us. Britain will be just fine.

Check out "This Book Is Overdue" by Marilyn Johnson (http://manoflabook.com/wp/?p=989) which will give you some fodder to argue against library cuts and the importance of librarians in the information age.

When will people start realize that the FIRST place politicians cut is whatever can hurt the people so it seems as if cuts are actually made. Instead of where cuts should be made which is getting rid of the political patronage pits where they dump their friends and family members who aren't qualified to flip burgers.

http://www.ManOfLaBook.com

Who needs libraries! Here in California we closed our libraries years ago. Books fill people with crazy notions. Get over it. We're now in the process of closing schools and hospitals.

I work in a Library as a library assistant and the amount of events etc that go on in there is unbeleivable. People need to start supporting there local libray. We run course Rhymtimes storytime bedtime storytime we are also going to become one stop shop for local council. Come on use them.

Hear, hear / Here, here (US and California, too). Thank you Ms. CD--we still watch (and remember) your All Creatures Great and Small work and that you are a successful author. California has not closed all its libraries--indeed some of the finest and largest in the world are UC Berkeley's and UCLA's and most other public libraries, while under
pressure, are definitely being used and supported (to various extents). Freedom only came with a free press. For those who it is important, the American Revolution, only came about due to a vigorous free press and the Postal Service. Etc. Etc.

There are "hidden" efficiencies in many public goods and public services that Adam Smith et al. are unaware of. When this aspect of revised economic theory is better known, it will be seen why those countries that have a free press, public support of libraries, education (literacy, e.g.), basic research (all kinds) and other
"soft" infrastructure investment long term are the best positioned societies (nations) to accomplish their goals. On the other hand, the apparent "cost" savings and tax reduction actually hide and ignore huge "externalities" (unanticipated or unbudgeted costs, national decline, waning international influence (and power), e.g.

From Australia, where we are also facing cuts to library services, I hope the protests produce the desired result for readers!

Here in Paignton Devon, we have been fortunate enough to have a new multi million pound library built. After royalty and relevant government ministers were 'unable' to attend, most major publishers were asked if they could provide a high profile author to do the ceremonial opening. Sadly not one could come up with a single name. Strange, considering all this publicity.
There's still time to get a plaque up on probably the last new library built in this country. So get in touch if you know of any newsworthy name who might like a visit to Paignton!

Many more libraries in Gloucestershire will be visited by authors tomorrow than has been reported above. So far, all but four of the 43 libraries in the county will get a visit. John Dougherty and myself, both authors for children, will visit 18 between them, running brief sessions as well as taking out a book from each library they visit.

Here at Stradbroke, in Suffolk, we are holding a read-in tomorrow at 10a.m. Our local village library, housed in a historic building, is one of 29 libraries in Suffolk threatened with closure. We appear to have the support of our local MP, Daniel Poulter, but have not yet had a definitive message of support from our local councillor, who sits on the Suffolk County Council Cabinet, Guy McGregor. We have distributed almost 1,000 leaflets calling for support of the National Day of Action, and are hopeful that many people will turn out to suppport the cause.

Alas, I am in France or would be there fighting with you, reading, performing, scribbling. At best, I am signing my name to every campaign I can find.
There are few resources that are more important than the libraries. They are the fields of imagination from which grow the strength of present and future generations. They offer to everybody, all of us whether poor, rich, dyslexic, literate, the possibility to fly, to dream, to be whoever we wish and in the company of whoever we choose. They offer everyone of us the opportunity to be a muscle within the body of society.
To cut back on libraries, to close libraries, is one of the most shortsighted actions any government could possibly perform. It is an act of blindness and in my opinion shows a true lack of understanding of all that a society is built open and flourishes by.
God help Britain.
Carol Drinkwater
author/actress

Alas, I am in France or would be there fighting with you, reading, performing, scribbling. At best, I am signing my name to every campaign I can find.
There are few resources that are more important than the libraries. They are the fields of imagination from which grow the strength of present and future generations. They offer to everybody, all of us whether poor, rich, dyslexic, literate, the possibility to fly, to dream, to be whoever we wish and in the company of whoever we choose. They offer everyone of us the opportunity to be a muscle within the body of society.
To cut back on libraries, to close libraries, is one of the most shortsighted actions any government could possibly perform. It is an act of blindness and in my opinion shows a true lack of understanding of all that a society is built open and flourishes by.
God help Britain.
Carol Drinkwater
author/actress

Hear, hear / Here, here (US and California, too). Thank you Ms. CD--we still watch (and remember) your All Creatures Great and Small work and that you are a successful author. California has not closed all its libraries--indeed some of the finest and largest in the world are UC Berkeley's and UCLA's and most other public libraries, while under
pressure, are definitely being used and supported (to various extents). Freedom only came with a free press. For those who it is important, the American Revolution, only came about due to a vigorous free press and the Postal Service. Etc. Etc.

There are "hidden" efficiencies in many public goods and public services that Adam Smith et al. are unaware of. When this aspect of revised economic theory is better known, it will be seen why those countries that have a free press, public support of libraries, education (literacy, e.g.), basic research (all kinds) and other
"soft" infrastructure investment long term are the best positioned societies (nations) to accomplish their goals. On the other hand, the apparent "cost" savings and tax reduction actually hide and ignore huge "externalities" (unanticipated or unbudgeted costs, national decline, waning international influence (and power), e.g.

The strangeness of life:Most of the people getting hot under the collar about these closures don't even use their libraries.You don't know what you have, until you lose it.

Full details of events in Gloucestershire libraries - 48 author, poet, storyteller or character visits across 35 libraries - can be found here.

Astonishingly, Gloucestershire County Council have effectively censored these events by banning any photography or filming by official media representatives in the libraries on the day.

That's very strange, Matthew! I grew up and live in Paignton, and it is indeed a FABULOUS new library... OK, so I'm not high profile enough to open it, but I'm an award-winning children's author and know of several others who live in the area and might be happy to do so. Which publishers were asked?

Please save our libraries - the cornerstone of decent civilisation, literacy and community.

I shouldn't have to be saying this,of course ! But in my lifelong love of the printed word, I certainly am adding my voice of 'no library cuts', to the campaign.
Keep the libraries ! Why is the so called Coalition condoning what amounts to a BOOK BURNING * exercise ??

When did you last hear that phrase * ?

@Carol Drinkwater .... stick to your olives and do not patronise us. Britain will be just fine.

Check out "This Book Is Overdue" by Marilyn Johnson (http://manoflabook.com/wp/?p=989) which will give you some fodder to argue against library cuts and the importance of librarians in the information age.

When will people start realize that the FIRST place politicians cut is whatever can hurt the people so it seems as if cuts are actually made. Instead of where cuts should be made which is getting rid of the political patronage pits where they dump their friends and family members who aren't qualified to flip burgers.

http://www.ManOfLaBook.com

Who needs libraries! Here in California we closed our libraries years ago. Books fill people with crazy notions. Get over it. We're now in the process of closing schools and hospitals.

I work in a Library as a library assistant and the amount of events etc that go on in there is unbeleivable. People need to start supporting there local libray. We run course Rhymtimes storytime bedtime storytime we are also going to become one stop shop for local council. Come on use them.