Monday, 24 January 2011

Been to the library lately?

No? Well, if you were planning to visit, it may pay you to go sooner rather than later. Government cuts continue to threaten our libraries, although happily people are fighting back, some of them in quite innovative ways. And they seem to have started a trend! Good on them!

I wouldn't have read a fraction of the books I read as a child without the library service. I couldn't have written my last book without public library resources to draw on, and without libraries, I doubt I'd even be a writer. Perhaps I don't use them as much as I once did, but I would hate to think we lost libraries. There are kids growing up as I did, with little or no access to books, people without the money to buy all the books they wish to read, students who want to read widely and who can't get everything they want elsewhere. Then there is the social aspect - for some, a visit to the library gets them out and about and gives them a chance to meet with people. Writers read their work and meet their readers in libraries as well as in bookshops.

The Bookseller is campaigning strenuously. Read the manifesto and demands here - and please sign up. Every voice helps. The Bookseller have also published the list of most borrowed books in 2010 - it makes interesting reading. See it here.

If anything on the list catches your imagination, why not pop into your local library and borrow it? Even if you are only an occasional user, your support right now would be appreciated.

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