Schools don’t need libraries now?

Posted: July 6, 2012 in campaign, Reading, Schools, Writing
Tags: , , , ,

Save Wootton Fields LibraryYesterday I visited Caroline Chisholm School in Northampton, a modern school incorporating primary and secondary. After giving a talk to the creative writing students, I was given a tour, and dropped into the library (Wootton Fields) to donate a couple of copies of Darklands.

It’s an excellent, large, well stocked library, serving both the school and the public. Whilst chatting to the librarians it transpired that they are under notice of being closed down within a couple of months, as a cost saving exercise. The large book stock will be replaced by a temporary mobile library.

Really? This is what the council wants to save money on? One large library serving the public, a secondary school and a primary school? Which was shortlisted for Library of the Year by the Bookseller Industry Awards 2012? Which as well as the usual library services also provides many events and activities throughout the year?

Astonishing. And utterly depressing. Surely no one doubts that childrens education is one of the last places cuts should be made? And surely no one doubts that a library is absolutely crucial to providing education?

Libraries matter – and none more so than school libraries. One of the campaign’s supporters told me yesterday,

“The library is used by people of all ages – all members of the community. Families use it together.”

Wootton Fields Library only has a few weeks to make its case. They’d really appreciate anyone helping out any way they can. You can find them on Facebook, and on Twitter, @woottonlibrary.

A rally is planned outside the library building for Sunday July 8 at 2pm. I won’t be able to go, as I’ve returned home to Derbyshire now. I hope it doesn’t rain on them :-S

*UPDATE: 80 supporters turned up for the rally on sunday afternoon, despite the weather AND the tennis!*

Many dozens of authors have already given their support to the campaign to save Wootton Fields Library, including Anne Fine, Julia Golding, Malorie Blackman, Meg Rosoff, and Marcus Sedgwick.

You can add your support by signing the e-petition here.

You can also contact members of the County Council to register your unhappiness about the proposed closure:

Councillor Heather Smith (Cabinet Member responsible for Libraries) hsmith@northamptonshire.gov.uk
Councillor Joan Kirkbride (Deputy Leader of the Council) jkirkbride@northamptonshire.gov.uk
Countillor Phil Larratt (County Councillor for our ward) cllr.plarratt@northampton.gov.uk

Or you could contact the local press in Northampton to tell them how you feel about the proposed closure. Contacts below:

The Northampton Chronicle & Echo, Callum Jones, callum.jones@northantsnews.co.uk
Anglia TV news. Katrina Rattigan, katrina.rattigan@itv.com. Please also CC in anglianews@itv.com
BBC Radio Northampton, Willy Gilder, willy.gilder@bbc.co.uk. Please also CC in laura.cook@bbc.co.uk
BBC Look East TV news, lookeast@bbc.co.uk

Thanks for any help.

Comments
  1. elwoodcock says:

    And in case you’re in a hurry, or unsure how to phrase these things, here’s the email I’ve sent to the councillors. Copy and tweak as you wish 🙂

    Dear Councillors

    I am writing to express my sadness and surprise about the proposed closure of Wootton Fields Library. This is an excellent library providing a service for both the public and for the primary and secondary school pupils of Caroline Chisholm School. Libraries are crucial to the education of our young people. A school without a library is missing a limb. The proposed temporary mobile library to replace it just does not compare.

    I hope you can find some other way to make the necessary savings, and leave the school library alone. It is doing an excellent job. Only this year it was shortlisted for the Bookseller Industry Awards library of the year.

    Would you want your children to attend a school that doesn’t have a library? I wouldn’t.

    Yours etc…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s