Libraries have been battered by Covid-19 – but one library worker has designed a fashion brand to ensure that is not the last word for the vital community spaces.
Back in July, The Big Issue caught up with Lottie Begg, a senior library assistant at the Lord Louis Library in Newport, Isle of Wight. Lottie had been hard at work creating Public Library Apparel since the building closed its doors due the Covid-19 pandemic.
Initially her bid for a creative outlet turned an idea to sell the stylish, book-inspired t-shirts at her library to raise vital funds for the service.
But now her plans have evolved to help libraries all over the UK with 20 per cent of the profits from each garment sold going to a library of the customer’s choice.
Lottie is now launching a Kickstarter campaign to raise £2,500 to cover printing, postage and promotion of the new brand.
She said: “Our aim is to raise awareness and funds for public libraries and if that gets done then great. I hope it gets people talking about libraries in a positive way. We’ve had our funds slashed, everything’s stretched – it’s a bit like the NHS in that we love it but there is so much complaint about it. I just want to make people more aware of everything that is there for them to use.”
Literacy is vital to dismantling poverty – that’s why The Big Issue are such big fans – and with libraries offering free access to not only books but internet and computer access, too, as well as a whole host of resources to support people who often have nowhere else to go for help.
It’s vital that libraries survive the Covid-19 pandemic, especially with almost 800 closing their doors since 2010. If you share The Big Issue’s passion for libraries, you can check out Lottie’s Kickstarter campaign here.