Today, Speak up for Libraries leads another protest to support and save libraries, with a rally and a lobbying of Parliament at Westminster. The rally starts at 11.30am at Central Hall Westminster, Storey’s Gate, Westminster, London SW1H 9NH. The lobby of Parliament will start at 2.30pm. I really hope that a lot of people turn up – librarians and library users alike – and that their MPs are available to discuss these issues and support their constituents in this fight.
But what do you do if you are unable to attend the rally and/or lobby? If you work in a library in or close to London, why not print off the flyers available here and display them prominently in your library this morning? You could put one inside every book that you issue, or simply post them in the windows and on the noticeboards of your library. If you don’t work in a library, why not print off the flyers and take to your local streets to distribute them for an hour? Even if you are unable to get to the rally, others may be inspired by a flyer they get from you to go along.
If you are further away still, like me, you should not despair. UNISON have made it very easy to contact your MP to ask them to support libraries, both locally and nationally: http://action.unison.org.uk/page/speakout/speakupforlibraries_mp. A draft letter has been supplied, and you need only add your own details. Remember to ask your MP to sign up to the Early Day motion, Speak Up for Libraries, if they have not done so already. Email these links to others in your local community to get them to add their support for their local libraries.
If you use Facebook, follow the Speak Up for Libraries page, to get more tips on how you can get involved and to keep up to date with the campaigns. If you use Twitter, follow Speak Up for Libraries, and tweet about the rally and lobby – use the hashtags #librarieslobby and #savelibraries. If you have a blog, write a post like this one, even just post a link to my post and/or the official pages if you are in a rush.
Finally? Use your local library today. Borrow a book. Use the e-resources. Read a newspaper or magazine. Borrow an audiobook or CD. Speak to library staff to find out all that is available; you’ll be surprised by all that you can do through libraries. And make the commitment to visit your local library once a week from now on if you don’t do so already.
(Header image from the Speak Up for Libraries official website)