National Libraries Day 'will have good support'

National Libraries Day 'will have good support'

Library campaigners are hoping that the third National Libraries Day, taking place on Saturday (8th February), will be the most successful event yet.

Previous years have seen some authorities fail to take part in the annual celebration, designed as an opportunity for libraries around the country to showcase what they have to offer and their role in local communities.

But author and campaigner Alan Gibbons, who helped to found NLD, said he thought the day would be celebrated more widely than ever before. He said: "In previous years there have been issues with some areas with councils that didn't want to take part, but I think the message has got through now that the day is a chance to show off libraries and shout about all the things they do. I've been doing lots of library events and everywhere seems ready to do something."

NLD ambassador and author Lesley Pearse will be speaking at libraries throughout February, including an event with BBC Radio Bristol on Wednesday to promote the day. Events scheduled for Saturday include author readings, poetry sessions, business advice classes and taster sessions showing library services. The Reading Agency is running an online campaign to dispel common myths about libraries, and on Friday, school librarians are running Harry Potter-themed events to show how reading and literacy can be linked to the wider curriculum.

CILIP, the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, runs the NLD website where people are able to add events taking place in their area to an interactive map. Barbara Brand, CILIP president said: "Now in its third year National Libraries Day 2014 is set to be the most exciting celebration of libraries and library staff yet. The week leading up to the 8th and the Saturday itself sees a huge range of events and activities raising the profile of the positive impact library and information services make on society - building literacy skills, developing a love of reading and sharing knowledge."

Laura Swaffield, chair of The Library Campaign, said: "Anything that brings people through library doors is an achievement. Even if in some places it falls to friends' groups and local clubs to run events, they are happening, and showing authorities how people feel about their libraries."