As a proud Librarian, after the events of the last few days, I’m veering between wanting to pack it all in and wanting to chain myself to Kensal Rise with the rest of the protesters. I’ve seen my three year degree and eleven subsequent years of experience dismissed with a soundbite. I’ve watched children stand in front of a Library founded by Mark Twain to stop it being boarded up. I’ve felt despair for the countless number of people who could have the ability to learn despite not being able to afford to go to university, or read for pleasure even though they can’t afford to buy the books they want. I’ve always been an advocate of Libraries, never a hugely vocal one, not a brave stand in front of a courtroom one or become VP of CILIP one, I can’t claim to have been, but an advocate yes. So today, I would like to pay tribute to all Library campaigners past and present. All those who are fighting for all of us to have access to free information, and for those who give us access to it. Thank you. To Librarians up and down this nation who introduced us to our favourite authors. Thank you. To authors who go to Libraries and read to us and take part in events and shout how brilliant, important and valuable Libraries and Librarians are. Thank you. I don’t care if it sounds like a bidding prayer, I make no apologies. You’d get upset if your bin collection was cancelled and you’d have to pay to take stuff to the tip. You’d get angry if you had to investigate who burgled your house yourself, well they are taking another one of your rights away people! Get angry!! Anyone out there reading this, consider this a call to arms. Go to your Library! Take your children and your granddad! Take your neighbour and your workmate! Defend your rights to have it with all your might! Borrow a book, read the paper, ask the Library staff for help, stand and be counted as a proud user of one of your rights, otherwise what will be next? Sometimes saying thank you is not enough. Sometimes we have to stand shoulder to shoulder. See you at the Library.
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