Wednesday, 15 October 2014

CATHY: MY LOVE LETTER TO LIVERPOOL LIBRARIES

Eleven much-loved and well-used Liverpool libraries are about to be closed, and as the council are not listening to protests or petitions, a campaign to bombard Mayor Joe Anderson with love letters to the libraries has been launched. The letters will show him how much the people of Liverpool - and beyond - care. Schools, colleges, teachers, families, businesses, individuals… we can all write letters to Mayor Anderson to ask him to change his mind.
Here is mine…

Dear Mayor Anderson,
I grew up owning no books of my own, apart from the occasional Christmas annual… but I had a library card. I went weekly to my local libraries and they opened up a whole new world for me, of imagination, possibilities, learning, life; libraries changed my life and thanks to them I am now a children's author myself.

For many ordinary people without a privileged background, libraries are education, opportunity and refuge; they are civilisation, inspiration and magic all rolled into one. They also provide support to job-seekers, advice, expertise, access to computers to those who have none. In times of austerity, these things are needed more than ever.

New figures tell us that one in three children in the UK in 2014 do not own a book of their own. Can Liverpool really mean to deny those children a chance to borrow a book, too? Liverpool is being promoted as a 'City of Reading' yet what message can the closure of eleven libraries send to the children you hope to switch on to reading? Please, please think again. Libraries are essential for a healthy community. They are needed by young families, schoolchildren and students; the unemployed, the elderly, the disabled… we all need libraries at different points in our lives. Take them away and people will suffer; communities will suffer too.

Liverpool was a 'City of Culture' long before it earned the title officially. The city's creativity and talent grows from the grassroots up via the kind of education only a library can offer. Mayor Anderson, I understand that you are between a rock and a hard place with cuts imposed from above, but try another route - please, please think again. Closing eleven much-loved and well-used libraries is little short of a massacre.

There has to be another way. Please, Mayor Anderson, don't let yourself be remembered as the man who turned his back on culture and education and closed the libraries; be instead the man who finds a way to save them. These libraries matter; we cannot stay silent and watch them close forever.

Best Wishes
Cathy Cassidy,
Children's author

Picture shows Cathy with eleven year old Liverpool schoolgirl and library protestor Elysce; you can sign Elysce's online petition here.

Cathy says: 
We have support for our campaign from over 500 authors, poets, actors, musicians, academics & creatives of all kinds, including Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, Children's Laureate Malorie Blackman and many other big names. Could YOU support us too by writing a 'Love Letter to Liverpool's Libraries'? Send your letter to Mayor Anderson at the Town Hall, High Street, Liverpool L2 3SW or email to: http://liverpool.gov.uk/contact-us/contact-the-mayor/
Don't forget to COMMENT BELOW - and THANK YOU so very much for your support.


5 comments:

  1. Good work Cathy!
    I think it is wonderful that you are doing this!

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  2. Wow! Cathy ur letter is amazing. I have already signed the petition and I'm going to write a love letter to the Mayor as soon as I have finished this. I really hope our voices will be heard. Hamdi:)xxx

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  3. I've just emailed a letter to the Mayor. I hope our voices will be heard. Hamdi:)xxx

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  4. Whats the address? I clicked on the link and there was an error, and it was not recognised as an address. Méabh

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    1. Have fixed the broken link Meabh… thanks for letting me know. xxx

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