I had a friend round to help with some plumbing recently and managed to get drawn into his latest scheme. It’s a good one though, because it involves action to help save our libraries. If you have missed all the local and national media coverage of Island library closures, the Isle of Wight Council are threatening to close down 82% of Island libraries. We will be left with 2.
This is a short sighted action with long term consequences and I for one am keen to see it stopped. We should be celebrating our libraries, making them better, not closing them. These aren’t just novel-lending facilities – a Blockbuster for books – these are vital multi-use community facilities, serving needs from helping children learn to read to helping unemployed people find work, from ensuring lonely people still have some interactions with people to facilitating important research. And much more besides. Plus they lend lots of novels too, which is also great (before I get walloped by one of my family, just ‘cos I don’t read novels much).
So, the campaign idea is simple (but with a twist as Dan Roberts is involved!). If you live on the Isle of Wight and don’t want to see your libraries closed then make sure your elected representative knows how strongly you feel. If you feel strongly enough about it not to vote for them again if they vote to close your library then tell them. And if you’ve done that, why not go a stage further and tell them you will campaign against them. If you are prepared to do so, sign a pledge to that effect so they will know. Campaigning against them could mean a range of things, from suggesting to friends and neighbours that they don’t vote for them (reminding them of the councillors history) to standing as an independent candidate.
So, Dan decided to issue pledges. Being who he is, he hand-built a printing press to produce pledges for people to sign. You can read all about it on the VentnorBlog. Even Dan could see the shortcomings of his device though, in that many more people would want to sign than he could produce pledges for. So, we have cooked up a little website. It’s quite simple, and provides an easy mechanism for you to sign the pledge. So why not take a look, and join our campaign? Help ensure our councillors know they will be called to account if they axe our libraries.