Voices for the Library

A group of dedicated librarians and information professionals have set up Voices for the Library, a campaigning website to share positive stories from public libraries and librarians, provide factual information about library usage in the UK and draw together the fragmented responses to the many attacks on UK public library services. It is high time for library professionals to be the voices for libraries. This campaign is an opportunity for people to discuss why libraries and librarians are so important, and why it is vital that they are run well and serve their communities effectively.

Libraries have recently had a high profile in the media, as a result of the threat of drastic cuts to library services across the UK. It is surprising that the majority of people speaking in the media about the future of libraries are not library users or library professionals and do not have the necessary knowledge and understanding of what libraries are for and the value they have. This site provides spokespeople for the media with a range of professional expertise.

I wrote that so I don’t feel bad about shamelessly cutting and pasting it. 😉

Although I’ve been doing my bit in terms of talking to news programmes, radio shows, newspapers and the like, trying to explain why libraries are important, why libraries need librarians, and that kind of thing, the majority of people commenting on libraries don’t seem to use libraries or know what they’re there for.

So.

Some Twitter-folk and I have set up a campaign website. It’s called Voices for the Library. These voices aren’t just those of librarians, but those of library users who love, are entitled to, and indeed need free, unbiased public library services.

We’re all Voices for the Library, innit. So do send me a comment, or write me an email about why YOU value YOUR library/librarians.

Campaigning!

This blog has really fallen by the wayside lately, because I’ve been busy with Save Doncaster Libraries. We’ve been part of a bit of a media buzz, and have been on BBC News (Breakfast News, News 24 and Look North as well as an audio version here), BBC Radio 5 Live, Radio 4’s Today Programme, and last week an article I wrote was published on the Guardian’s Comment is Free page.

All very exciting. Hopefully it will have the desired effect and make Doncaster Council, and the rest of the country, reassess (and remember) what libraries are for.

Update: I’ll use this post to collect together other links to today’s media bits and bobs.

John Harris on Guardian’s Comment is Free page: Libraries need investment to thrive
Lynne Coppendale on BBC Radio Sheffield talking about Save Doncaster Libraries: 1:21:30 in
BBC Have Your Say comments: Do libraries have a future?
Mumsnet are on the case!
Coverage on ITV Meridian Regional News