It would be unfeasible here to document all the actions, noise and silences that took place across the country on ‘Save Our Libraries’ day (5th Feb). Here are a couple of links to follow for ideas of what happened then and what could still happen in Kirklees.
Mirfield library’s ‘Read-in’ ranks on a level 3 on the Grandiad’s interactive map – “An organised read-in with more than 20 people”. In fact, over 50 people turned up at Mirfield library over the two hours. People read out library or learning related passages from their favourite books and poems and letters were handed out to be signed and sent to Mehboob Khan.
Over 500 public libraries across the country are currently under threat or have been closed. Whilst 180 brand new libraries are being built in South Korea as part of a campaign to promote reading. Not necessarily relevant but interesting nonetheless.
Of more local interest will be Kirklees’ response. In a joint statement about their budget proposals the council says “Unlike many other areas of the country our objective is that libraries will not be cut now (my emphasis). We are all committed to helping the most vulnerable in society.” and later in the same statement “Unlike many areas across the country libraries will not be cut right now. But we will look at how library services can best be provided in future.”
Glib statements which mean nothing. Don’t forget there are local elections coming up in May and Kirklees councillors have had a chance to see how communities have reacted on being told their libraries are closing. There’s a lot of work to be done to protect and continually improve the library service in Kirklees.
The easiest way is to use them.
- take books / cds / dvds out
- attend events
- ask librarians to buy books which are not currently in stock
- use the computer facilities to write letters to councillors and mp’s
- access this website and the sites it links to
- leave the ‘Save Our Services’ page open on your screen whilst you look for a book
- organise a ‘Read in’
- start a ‘Friends of Kirklees Libraries’ group