Since the current coalition government came into power, they have been preparing the country for savage cuts. I’ll happily admit that I’m no economist, but the speed and depth of the cuts is frightening.
Already they’ve climbed down on the over the selling of English woodlands due to furious public backlash.
But here’s one that we must stand up and say no to – the closure of libraries. Earlier this week, the Guardian reported on one library in east London which was saved thanks to people power.
I love reading books. I can’t afford to buy them (have you seen the price of art books?), so I borrow them from by local library. Far from being dusty, boring places, my libraries are welcoming places. My local one has been brought up-to-date with a refurbishment, and includes the latest technology where I can borrow and return books at a computer terminal. There are mum and toddler groups, the Internet, and the latest books in stock. The librarians are not stern old witches who tell you to ‘shush’ when you breathe, but very happy to help. I can even borrow books from Bexhill and return it in Eastbourne.
The library has a special place in my heart. When I was very young, my mother and I would walk down to the library pick out my books for the week. It’s where I learnt to read, got whisked to other planets, time and even to space. I even read about talking animals! It’s where I learnt about body language, about the bus names in Brighton and my next travel destination. I’ve sat in the library doing research for school, college and university.
To deny people the pleasure of reading, to deny children from learning to read and write should not be tolerated. Closing our libraries is not an option.
So the next time you want to read a book, why not save yourself a few pennies? Go and pop down to your local library and show your support.