Sunday, 17 January 2016

My Library By Right - The CILIP Campaign!

For those of you who've been following me on Twitter for any length of time you may have noticed several of my tweets in support of public libraries. This is because I believe that libraries are hugely important and contribute a great deal to the wellbeing and success of everyone in society. Nowadays, however, it's unfortunately all too common to hear of the UK's precious and much-loved libraries being threatened with closure or privatisation by councils looking to save precious money. 

The closure of libraries and the privatisation of libraries, with volunteers responsible for the day-to-day running of the service, is not something that fills with me with great joy. From a very young age I both appreciated and loved what my local libraries, staffed by fully trained and professional staff had to offer me - not just books but much more. They offer something for everyone, things which are irreplaceable and can't necessarily be found elsewhere. 

So what's so special about libraries? Firstly they can very much be considered as social hubs which seek to tackle isolation through the provision of numerous services for older people, disabled people, families and children. In being a social hub libraries also provide access to and information about other public services and through the provision of books on prescription and advertisement of other health services are also seen to promote wellbeing and good health. What is more libraries are also educational establishments which not only encourage people of all ages to read for pleasure but also promote digital literacy through a range of courses aimed at beginners right through to the more technically advanced. They are also cultural centres, allowing people to access not just books and book-related activities but music and DVDs also. Some libraries even provide local and family history services and the opportunity for local artists to exhibit some of their finest work. 

I think by now the point has been made that libraries as they are bring so much and play a very important role in society today. However, the future is uncertain, libraries are in jeopardy and, recognising this, CILIP have launched a campaign - My Library By Right - to defend library services. A petition has been launched, which at the time of writing this post has 9,402 signatures, but more are desperately needed. Their aim is to make the government aware of their statutory duty and, indeed, the need to provide a comprehensive, quality library service. Therefore, if libraries are important to you and if you value your local library service why not take two minutes to sign the petition?