Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Shhh!-In At Sheffield Libraries

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…

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!
You can keep up to date with the campaign by following @lwfabf and the #shh4sheflib hashtag on twitter.


Carl Thompson said...

Shutting down libraries is a preposterous proposal! This information is definitely worth fighting for.

Anonymous said...

Hadn't heard about this. Very sad, I love Ian McMillan, he's an excellent person for such events as his enthusiasm spills out of him as he talks (I once went to a workshop by him).
As for libraries being cut back, I'm not in the least bit surprised. An obvious target for saving money. As a child I spent hours in my local libraries, so let's hope not too many cuts are made - it would be an outrage if today's children are denied easy access to books.