The lobbying has only just begun. And so has our coverage of the Speak Up for Libraries rally. This is the first of two blog posts… the next one is from Hot Key author Lydia Syson.
There were an number of impassioned pleas to the government to take action on libraries closing. Here are my top three quotes from the event:
1. Mar Dixon, library campaigner “It should NOT be that because you have more money in your locality that you get a better library service.”
2. Ian Clark from Voices for the Library “There isn’t a single person alive who couldn’t walk into a library and find something they like.” (To which I add: because the librarian will be there to help them find it.)
3. Ian Anstice from Public Libraries News “Libraries are vital front line services. THEY JUST ARE.” He also said that it isn’t just about open or closed libraries. It is about the “not quite open” libraries. (I think that’s a huge point in terms of how the public views libraries, and funding should support libraries being open more often.)
I had about ten minutes with an assistant of The Rt Hon David Lidlington, who took notes on what I was saying, accepted my little Speak Up for Libraries card and promised to have Mr Lidlington write to Ed Vaizey on my behalf. Sounds pretty good. I’ll post up any correspondence I get.
Alan Gibbons (@mygibbo) finished the event by saying that the lobbying had only just begun with this rally, and it’s clear that the campaign is going to need a lot of voices in support.
My favourite moment was seeing a wall of pink publisher support. The Mills & Boon crew were out in force!