Save Liverpool Libraries!
Can there be anything more important or more of a sign of our democracy than a building that contains refuge, learning, opportunity, help, advice, warmth, somewhere to look for job opportunities, apply to college or university, find books to learn how to fix your tap, build a wall, write a successful job application, make origami sculptures, direct a play, research practically anything at all, borrow worlds in which to lose oneself for hours at a time – all for free?
These are but a few of the things you will find in a library.
Opening a book and starting to read a story for the first time is so much more than an exploration of another time or place or universe or culture.
Seeing things from another perspective promotes empathy.
People who have read books are much less likely to suffer from mental illness – having a stimulated imagination somehow gives someone who needs a mental refuge somewhere to go at times of stress.
Children who read in their spare time are likely to do better at English – but, surprise, surprise, also maths, than those who don’t.
I could go on and on about the benefits of reading, and do you know what, I couldn’t find one, single negative fact to counter the benefits.
There are those who think libraries have had their day – hey, we’re in the digital world now aren’t we?
Well, no, we aren’t actually. The digital world still contains the tiniest fraction of what a library holds. I research continuously to write – and although it’s so much easier now with the internet, if I want in-depth knowledge, the library is still the place to go.
If I want a particular book, I can Google – and get up Amazon. It will show me the book I want, and a few alternatives. but not as many as a library will.
And what is more, I will not have shelf upon shelf in front of me. A book with a title that I would not have even thought of will not catch my eye. I will not pick it up because of the cover, because it looks interesting, and flick through the pages. I will not find extra information I could not even have dreamed of.
When I am trying to borrow a new Donna Leon, and find that all copies are out on loan, I pick up something else, and borrow that instead. This leads me to finding an entirely new author, writing a completely different type of crime story – not ‘more of the same style’ that Amazon will turn up under my choice.
When my children were small, we bought them a lot of books. They loved reading. But could we afford to buy every book they wanted, or enough books to feed their reading appetite? No. So we went to the library.
Something that every single person in this country is able to do without exception.
As long as there is a library. It is a statutory right.
How is it possible to close any library at all?
If you agree that every single adult and child in this country should have free, easy access to a library, and if you have ever used library at all, please consider writing a love letter to your library.
Write a love letter to Liverpool libraries – 11 out of 16 of which face closure.
Like the ‘Save Liverpool Libraries Facebook’ page.
Look up #saveliverpoollibraries on Twitter and tweet your support.
Join authors, teachers (who know the value of books and reading to all subjects in education), poets and educationalists in their fight against the closure of libraries. Join authors like Alan Gibbons, Cathy Cassidy, Philip Pullman, Neil Gaiman… fight!