Libraries are brilliant. We know how vital it is to save them. That’s why we’re working with CILIP and Bobby Seagull to take the battle to keep libraries funded all the way to Number 10 – and we have already seen incredible support.
The Libraries Deliver petition, which launched on Saturday, has already racked up more than 1,000 signatures in just two days.
CILIP’s Libraries Champion Bobby Seagull will deliver the petition to Boris Johnson’s residence on February 27. It will ask the Prime Minister and his government to return library funding to levels last seen in 2010 – at or near £1bn per annum – at next month’s Budget.
We're working with @BigIssue @johnbirdswords
and @Bobby_Seagull to bring an end to 10 years of library austerity. Great libraries and professional librarians build stronger communities. Sign the petition today and share widely #fundmylibrary https://t.co/5LIAij1iXS pic.twitter.com/iwIIlbT2ad
— CILIP (@CILIPinfo) February 18, 2020
It is part of an ongoing campaign to protect libraries from the savage cuts that have seen 773 libraries close their doors since 2010, according to the CIPFA figures.
The battle to save more from the chop was central to our recent Love Libraries edition of The Big Issue magazine, which featured both Seagull and CILIP. Both had already teamed up with The Big Issue to present a 10-point Manifesto for Libraries at the House of Lords last October as part of the Public Libraries: The Case for Support report we put together.
The Big Issue has inspired the launch of 120 street papers globally, including sister titles in Australia, South Africa, Japan, Taiwan and Korea.
But for the Love Libraries edition, Seagull penned a piece exclusively for The Big Issue explaining how his weekly pilgrimage to the East Ham library as a child prepared him for going head-to-head with Paxman on the BBC show.
He said: “Libraries are more than just books, they represent what it means to be truly human. They contain the minds of our ancestors as well as the latest thinking of contemporary minds. We need our libraries, as they are shining beacons of knowledge, sharing and inclusive communities.
“The best way to show your support for libraries is to use them. Don’t forget, public libraries are free at the point of use for us civilians! The more they are used, the more funding towards them can be justified.”
— Bobby "proud geek" Seagull (@Bobby_Seagull) February 17, 2020
Libraries are invaluable, giving people much-needed access to books that open their mind, as well as the chance to boost literacy and digital skills that are so invaluable to getting on in life.
Now, as well as heading down to your local library, we also need your signature on the petition to ensure that politicians know just how valued they are.
Sign the petition here