Croydon under fire over National Libraries Day

Croydon under fire over National Libraries Day

Two hundred events will be held at libraries around the country to mark National Libraries Day tomorrow (4th February).

However some councils remain under fire for failing to schedule any special events for the day, with local campaigners now claiming Croydon council is among them. No NLD events are being held by Kent library service either.

Elizabeth Ash of Save Croydon Libraries said inquiries from residents to Croydon library staff had been met with the response that the staff knew nothing about the event. "One resident emailed to find out what was happening but got no reply," Ash added.

A spokesperson for Croydon council disputed the claim, saying there were "a number of events taking place under the National Library Day banner this Saturday", including an author reading by Monica Carly and a Manga workshop by Chie Kutsuwada. "Other events include Rhymetime and Storytime in several libraries," the spokesperson said. But Ash said the Manga workshop was part of the My Voice Reading Agency activities "and Rhymetime and Storytime go on anyway."

On the council's website, events in libraries for 4th February are listed without reference to National Libraries Day.

Croydon council has moved to outsource its library service, in partnership with Wandsworth, to an outside organisation. The council has also withdrawn from the Upper Norwood Library, which they ran jointly with Lambeth.

National Libraries Day has the support of a wide range of associations including the National Literacy Trust, the National Union of Teachers, The Society of Authors, The Association of Senior Children’s and Education Librarians and the Society of Chief Librarians.

Children's laureate Julia Donaldson, Man Booker-shortlisted Carol Birch, and The Radleys author Matt Haig are among the writers taking part in NLD events, while Gloucestershire authors will reprise last year's "Flying Authors" act, attempting to visit every library in the county.

Other special offers made by libraries to mark the event and tempt in readers include allowing visitors to borrow DVDs, CDs or audiobooks for free.