Friday, 21 January 2011

Save our libraries – borrow a book!

On Saturday 5th February Alan Gibbons’ Campaign for the Book is organising co-ordinated ‘read-ins’ at libraries across the country. Most events are due to start around noon, but it would be worth checking local news and advertising for details.

It may be that there are no read-in events planned at your local library, which is the case with mine, but there’s no reason why we can’t still add our support. Here's an idea: 

Encourage everyone you know – family, friends, work colleagues, school friends, random strangers – to visit your local library on Saturday 5th of February and take out a book, or seven books (which is the maximum allowed here). It doesn't cost anything and what better form of protest against the proposed cuts to library provision, than to use the service in question? Let’s show in usage figures, how many people will be affected if these cuts go ahead. 

Of course don't limit it to Saturday – keep using your library. One of the easiest, and possibly most powerful forms of protest against the cuts, will be to get library usage figures up all over the country. 

I’ll be visiting my local libraries on Saturday the 5th and posting some pictures here. If you want to send me a photo of yourself, family and friends with your loans outside your library on Saturday – I’ll put them up.

If you're taking part in a read-in or have any other library campaign news, please leave a comment and we can spread the word.

Finally, here's a post from last month with some useful links to a number of articles discussing why libraries matter and what we can do to save them.


  1. For the full list of library closures and handy map see
    For reasons to defend libraries, please see

  2. Great, David. I can't do a read in at my library on 5th after all -as it's temporarily closed! But it will reopen soon and we're keeping a close eye on it... I'll go and borrow some with the family from our next closest library -and they'll all come -because it's my 40th birthday!

  3. Thanks Kathryn and cheers for the info Ian.
    Clare – it's your birthday, they HAVE to do what you want! Get some pictures of you all outside the library with a pile of books and a birthday cake on top!

  4. Sadly I won't be around to do this, but I know of some who will be doing it locally in my area, including Lewisham which has one of the bigger libraries in the South East. I think, to be honest, that where I live in Beckenham, our libraries seem safe-ish. I've been keeping an eye out and things are very very quiet about that at the moment.