Thursday, 6 March 2014

Save Our Libraries!

Libraries are at the very heart of our communities, but many local authorities are being left with no choice but to close them due to the depth and frontloading of cuts being made to local authority budgets by the Tory-led Government.
The effects will be felt across the country – reports suggest that up to 400 libraries could be facing closure, potentially resulting in up to 6,000 librarians losing their jobs.
Closing and reducing access to libraries will remove or reduce Internet access for the 25% of Britons who do not have it at home, place more strain on already stretched school library services and impact on adult education.
This just isn’t right.
 As Alan Gibbons, the children’s author and founder of the Campaign for the Book says
“Libraries are indispensable community hubs, places of education, browsing, culture, reading for pleasure and for self-improvement. They have computers, e-books and traditional books. They bridge physical and digital reading and provide access to information technology to those who might be excluded by lack of money. They are a place to meet and they are most heavily used by the young and the elderly. They are so effective that one of the top performing countries in education libraries, South Korea, is building 180 more. Any society that permits the decline of its library service is committing cultural seppuku and if you don’t know what that means, you definitely need a library!”
Reading for pleasure in early years is of direct benefit to literacy levels. Often, a love of learning begins in the library. It is an non-threatening environment that has the power to diminish disadvantage. And not everyone has access to the internet or can afford books. It is also a haven for those with nowhere to study at home.  With guidance, learners can develop the ability to find, recognise and analyse information that significantly improves their cognitive ability. Information literacy is a skill for the workplace. 
Libraries can be real hubs in communities and help them to flourish. Reading has to be at the heart of the mix (I do not buy for a second the idea that books are obsolete). This is all the more important at a time when four million children in the UK do not own a book, and when as many as one in six adults have trouble reading; illiteracy is thought to cost our economy up to £81bn a year. 
Get involved!
Write to your local MP’s 
Sign the petition 
Send in your photos of world book day, 
Tweet us with quotes,
@SalfordLabStud #saveourlibraries 
Thank you!
Collaboration with CWPTMedia - check out his blog here!


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