Stephen Fry is supporting libraries by appearing in a new poster campaign from the Chartered Institute of Library & Information Professionals (CILIP).
The poster is available to download for free for people to print and display to show their support.
The actor, comedian and writer, Fry said: “Libraries are where minds flourish and grow. They are like a kind of water supply. Without libraries a country can become a kind of desert.”
Nick Poole, CILIP chief executive, said: “I’m delighted that the country’s most erudite national treasure Stephen Fry is supporting our campaign. We want as many people as possible to print and display this free poster in their library or workplace. Our society and economy are powered by access to knowledge and information. We are powered by librarians.”
Fry is an active campaigner in support of preserving libraries and recently starred in a BBC documentary on the history of public libraries and their current decline. Directed and written by poet and filmmaker Greta Bellamacina and journalist Davina Catt, it premiered yesterday (23rd May) in London. Fry said in an interview in "The Safe House: A Decline of Ideas", that libraries need to be protected because they "save lives".
He said: “We need to understand libraries as places of education and nourishment for everyone – there is a terrible sense that libraries are just an add-on to a council building, but they save lives.”
“A library is one of the few places, in a town or even a large village, where you can go in and immerse yourself in that world,” Fry continued. “To actually have access to a real collection of books, of literature and reference works from across the ages is really important.”
CILIP’s My Library By Right campaign, designed to assert our legal rights to quality public library services, and its new Library Fund featured in the film. The latter is a new initiative to support UK libraries and information services, with a crowdfunding campaign that has been kick-started by a £10,000 investment by CILIP.