Defend The Public Library Service

"The library service is nearing a "crisis point" because of cuts and closures, union leaders warned as they launched a campaign to reverse the trend." Telegraph.co.uk

We need our libraries. Libraries serve our communities and provide FREE books, and access to other services that many people cannot afford. I'm a huge fan of libraries - if it hadn't been for my small local library in Portsmouth I would never have discovered the joy of reading and hence writing. Through my library I discovered the wonderful Enid Blyton and as I grew older the great Malcolm Saville and other authors like John Creasy, Leslie Charteris, and so many others.

In my house money simply wasn't spent on books because there were other priorities for my parents who worked hard for little money. My father was an aerial rigger and my mother worked part-time in the launderette so most of their income was spent keeping a roof over our heads and making sure that we never went without food and had decent clothes to wear.

All the books I read were provided by the library for free. I use the library still to borrow books and to try out new authors. I am also delighted when asked to speak to reading groups in libraries as a way of repaying some of the debt I owe them.

Unison has launched a campaign to 'Defend The Public Library Service' and even if you personally don't use the library then please think about others in your community for whom the library provides a lifeline.

General Secretary, Dave Prentis of Unison says, "Although more people visited their local library last year than went to the cinema or a football match, the numbers are declining and so we also need to concentrate on attracting new readers.Unison's plan aims to put communities in the driving seat to shape their local library service.Buying books is expensive and a thriving local library can make sure all children get the chance to learn through reading. We need a skilled workforce for the future and it would be a good investment for the Chancellor to spend some of his recession proofing pounds on libraries"

So let's get behind our wonderful FREE public library service in the UK.

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