Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Save Our Libraries Day - Yorkshire

Saturday will be an important day. On Saturday, people across the UK will voice their displeasure at the proposed closure of over 400 libraries. Saturday February 5th is to be Save Our Libraries Day: there will be events, protests, and read-ins held in hundreds of libraries. Please see the CILIP website for information on what you can do and see the National Save Libraries event on Facebook to find where your nearest event is.

Due to the high number of closures proposed for the area, Yorkshire is hosting many events. On January 21st, the Harrogate Advertiser launched its campaign to keep North Yorkshire libraries open. On January 27th, 700 people attended a meeting in Great Ayton to discuss the proposed closure of their local library. On January 29th, I attended a successful read-in in Doncaster: watch this video to get an idea of what’ll be happening this Saturday.

The following libraries are holding read-ins in North Yorkshire:

Bentham Library - 10.00-13.00
Colburn Library - 11.00 onwards
Easingwold Library - 9.30-11.30 - with authors Mike Pannett and G.P. Taylor
Great Ayton Library - 9.30-12.30
Pateley Bridge Library - Meet at 10.00 to march to the 'super-mobile'

The following libraries are holding read-ins in South Yorkshire (more information here):

Cantley Library - 10.00-13.00
Bawtry Library - 10.00-13.00 - with author Helena Pielichaty
Sprotbrough Library - 11.00-12.00 - with authors Richard Benson and Kate le Vann
Moorends Library - 11.00-13.00
Rossington Library - 11.00-12.00
Carcroft Library - 11.00-12.00
Sheffield Central Library - 11.00 onwards

There won’t be any read-ins in York because York City Council has vowed to safeguard all 14 of the city's libraries. Council leader, Andrew Waller, said quite rightly that “…there are alternatives to closing libraries which I am sure people would rather we pursued.”

On Saturday, I will be attending the Easingwold Library read-in. Easingwold Library has come to represent the main problems with the proposed cuts for North Yorkshire. Firstly, data soon to be made available by Voices for the Library shows that Easingwold Library has seen a consistent year-on-year increase in visits and is by no measure an unsuccessful library. Secondly, the people of Easingwold strongly oppose the closure: when a community fights against the councillors who represent them, something is dreadfully wrong. Next week, people will meet at a public consultation to discuss Easingwold Library’s fate. It’s important that people who care about North Yorkshire libraries attend.

Although Saturday will be a major turning point, it will not be the end of the campaigns to save libraries. For more information on what you can do to continue support of the UK’s public libraries, please visit the Voices for the Library website.

And if you haven’t seen them already, be inspired by Phil Bradley’s amazing retro-style save libraries posters. It’s this kind of brilliant creativity that libraries generate and nurture. 
My favourite. Ask yourself, what will you do?


Carl said...

There will also be a Shh-In at Sheffield Central Library at 11am on Saturday

Simon Barron said...

Thank you Carl. Added to the list.