Yesterday I read with dismay that the bundle of awesomeness that is Ian McMillan has been banned from a children's creative writing event for fear that he may make political comments.
He is a big fan of libraries, and has said “Libraries are a vital and irreplaceable part of a cultured and civilised society, and one of the few public places left where you don’t have to pay to get in.” Of course, he's quite right!
The story a few weeks ago of residents of Stony Stratford withdrawing every single book from their local library to fight its closure was thoroughly inspiring.
According to Library Workers For a Better Future,
In Sheffield it is being proposed that the present library budget of £8.5m should be cut by £2.5m by 2013/14, i.e. by £1.4m in 2011/12 and £550k in 2012/13 and 2013/14. There are no current plans to close libraries but cuts on this scale will inevitably have a major impact on the quality of the library service. As a campaigning organisation we are keen to work with the council wherever possible to highlight the good work that libraries do in our communities. This lack of cooperation on even such a simple thing as a children’s creative writing workshop leaves us with little option but to pursue other ideas...
The 'other ideas' they talk about are a 'Shhh!-in' at Sheffield Central Lending Library on the 5th February. That date is the national day of action for libraries, and at 11am at Sheffield Central Library, the following is proposed:
Shhh-In rules…You can keep up to date with the campaign by following @lwfabf and the #shh4sheflib hashtag on twitter.
Finger to lips.
At 11am say ‘Shhhhh!’
Finish off with three cheers for the library!
Finally, borrow lots of books – lets empty those shelves. You’re allowed up to 15 out on your library card, so bring a big bag!