Sunday, November 21, 2010

Librarians as activist

I've just been read Johanna Bo Anderson's blog post entitled Librarians Gagged. In the piece she discusses how in Gloucester she has started a website entitled Friends of Gloucestershire Libraries so as to stop a 43% cut in Library funding and closure of possibly up to 11 libraries.

Jo then write:-

Friends of Gloucestershire Libraries took part in a protest rally today with hundreds of other people protesting against brutal public sector cuts. A young lady who I had never met before approached me and said “My dad says your campaign website is great and everything but he says that maybe you should not say on it that you are a librarian.“ She is the third person to have individually advised me to stop telling the press that I am a librarian as it may seem as if I am running this group in self-interest. Well let me tell you something I AM A LIBRARIAN AND I AM PROUD, proud to be speaking up for libraries, library users and public library staff. In all three incidences I heard myself saying apologetically “But I am an academic librarian not a public librarian. If public libraries die, I still have my job“

What? So do we sit idly by and keep quite so a few of us MAY keep our jobs? Or do we organise ourselves in to a community of 'library activist' and show we think are jobs are still relevant to society? Jo and others are willing to use the own time, resources and attention to the cause. Jo is even a founding member of the Voices for the Library.

We need people like Jo and Lauren Smith to underline that many people still use public libraries. Once there closed there never coming back.

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