National Libraries Day to see Birmingham cuts protest

National Libraries Day to see Birmingham cuts protest

Protesters will use National Libraries Day on Saturday as a chance to campaign against planned cuts at the Library of Birmingham.

Hundreds of people are expected to turn out on 7th February to form a human chain "hugging" the building, according to the Birmingham Mail. The campaign has been set up in response to Birmingham City Council's plans to slash the building's budget, which will see 100 of the 188 staff made redundant, while opening hours are slashed by nearly half.

The planned rally is set to start at midday, with speeches, a message of support from Birmingham-born writer Benjamin Zephaniah being read out, and musicians, poets and storytellers joining the public, who are invited to dress as their favourite literary characters.

A spokesman for the Friends of the Library of Birmingham said: "The global recession was caused by international bankers, not by public libraries. The LoB is an investment in our future, our children’s future and the future of this city’s prosperity. A big show of support on 7th February, National Libraries Day, will prove that the LoB and community libraries are important for everyone."

National Libraries Day will be celebrated around the country with events and activities. On Friday 6th February, schools are invited to take part in a Guinness World Record attempt for most books swapped to mark the day.

Former Sex Pistols frontman John Lydon has also thrown his support behind the day, recording a video imploring the UK to value its libraries.