Tuesday, February 15, 2011

We Love Libraries!

February is Library Lovers' Month & libraries have certainly been in the news! In England, where 400 branches have been threatened with closure, there were protests nationwide for Save Our Libraries Day on February 5th, featuring sshh-ins, author appearances, mass checkouts (protesters joined in a chorus of "shhh" then cheered for their library, before taking out the maximum 15 books each on their tickets – the theory being that you cannot close down a library while most books are on loan [The Guardian]), & fun events (storytimes & read-ins).

Threatened library closures in Somerset inspired Michael Eavis, Maggie Gee, Kate Mosse and Big Issue founder John Bird to join with local residents and the national Save Our Libraries campaign to produce a short film, sending a message to Somerset county council leader Ken Maddock, agitating for their survival. [The Guardian] (I like the girl with the sign "Hands off our books, you crooks!")

The good news for England's libraries is that the library protests have caused some county councils to rethink cuts (The Guardian).

For information about library cuts in the U.S., you only have to Google the term "save our libraries", & you'll find a plethora of individual sites-"Save Ohio Libraries", "Please sign up to help in this campaign to save Evanston's branch libraries", "Pennyslvania Save Our Libraries"-in addition to this nation-wide site: SaveLibraries.org. Also check out ALA's page Save Libraries in Your State.

Here's a creative response to library funding cuts: "Dine Out for the Library". Here in Albuquerque, we mostly rely on your (highly appreciated) donations of time & materials. Our newest ventures in that direction are our partnership with Bookworks that allows you to purchase high demand titles at their store (at a 20% discount) to donate to the library system & our partnership with LibraryBIN (buy downloadable audiobooks and/or ebooks and support your library in a single step)!

Author Scott Turow on libraries, from the Huffington Post.

For other reasons to celebrate libraries, here's a list of upcoming Library & Literary Celebrations from Friends of Libraries U.S.A., including Read Across America & Teen Tech Week.

Also check out the Save Our Libraries song!

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