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Public libraries petition - please sign. We need 100,000 signatures...

(24 Posts)
BaaBaaHerdwickSheep Wed 05-Oct-11 20:19:02

Thanks for clicking in. Please sign. If it gets at least 100,000 signatures it will be eligible for a debate in the Commons. Thank you!

BaaBaaHerdwickSheep Wed 05-Oct-11 20:19:27

This time with the link working!!

bobthebuddha Wed 05-Oct-11 21:30:30


glasnost Wed 05-Oct-11 21:55:20

I've just signed. The same's happening where I live. Disdain for the arts and enrichment of the mind is implicit in this neo right agenda. If the sheeple are kept docile and unquestioning on X Factor fodder all the easier they are to manipulate.

rycooler Wed 05-Oct-11 22:04:27

I will sign, but I can't help thinking it's in vain - The reality is Libraries are not as valuable as they once were - the modern world has taken over - ie; the Internet - plus books are so cheap to buy these days - my library is always empty.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 06-Oct-11 06:55:22

Whilst loving the idea of libraries I have to agree with rycooler that they're not the critical centres of learning or art that they once were. Those that want to read & enrich their minds are finding other ways to source material because my library is also largely empty.

meditrina Thu 06-Oct-11 07:05:11

Libraries are the function of local, not central government. I don't think this is a good use of parliamentary time.

Iggly Thu 06-Oct-11 07:33:16

And local government receives a huge chunk of funding from central government, plus central government can cap the level of council tax. Hardly "local".

My small library is always being used - by a range of people. Not everyone has the internet at home or a place to study. Nor can everyone afford "cheap" books.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 06-Oct-11 07:57:22

If your library is popular but mine and rycooler's are empty, then that's an argument for the localist solution. Your council can decide to keep the popular library open and save money elsewhere. Mine may decide to close that particular branch and spend the money saved on a service that is more in demand.

BikeRunSki Thu 06-Oct-11 08:07:12

DS and/or I visit our small village library at least once a week. As well as getting books/CDs/DVDs there are all sorts of other activities - Preschooler Story time, Craft, Local History and Philosophy groups, MPs surgery, Police drop in once a month, kids and teenagers doing their homework. It is so much more than just a place to borrow books, it's a community centre (and we don't have anything else like that).

Iggly Thu 06-Oct-11 08:28:56

The problem with that Cogito is once it's gone, it's gone. Perhaps there are other uses to which the library is put to use instead of taking a short termism approach and closing it full stop.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 06-Oct-11 08:58:21

There's nothing to stop a council opening a new library in a new location in the future if the demand is there. However, if other uses such as the ones BikeRunSki describes have not drawn people into the library should a council be forced to keep it open anyway? My local library is a small branch with poor facilities, a poor choice of books, inconvenient opening times and is not well frequented. 1 mile away in the town centre there is a much bigger library that is better equipped, has a better choice of books and is quite popular. Shouldn't my council be allowed to dispense with the small one and invest more in the larger one if they wish?

glasnost Thu 06-Oct-11 09:44:10

I'd love to know what meditrina does for a living.

Iggly Thu 06-Oct-11 11:08:32

That's all very well but it costs a lot to open something from scratch instead of adapting something as times change. Councils should cater for all in the community not just a certain vocal selection. I wouldn't take the voice of one or two residents as proof that something should be gone. They did the same with post offices, and the same with buses, and it has made life difficult - now I don't use a post office often but appreciate that others do. Thats why we have public services - to help those that the free market wouldn't.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 06-Oct-11 12:00:55

"I don't use a post office often"... That's the same problem. Not enough people use a post office very often. If they didn't exist, I doubt we would be introducing post offices today and they certainly wouldn't be in the same format. Communities need gathering points and perhaps one all-purpose facility could be devised that covers the things a local community thinks they need... an internet cafe with knobs on, as it were... so that you can pay the TV licence, order a book, check your pension has gone into your bank, drop off a parcel and get a cup of coffee, read the newspaper & hob-nob with the neighbours all at the same time.

Iggly Thu 06-Oct-11 13:05:41

Yes I don't but plenty do. The queues as some times of the day are horrendous.

I agree that a hub would be a better idea - this is what I mean by putting libraries to different uses instead of just shutting them down.

AmandaHart Thu 06-Oct-11 20:45:52

I've signed the e-petition

Libraries aren't just about books. They are about connecting people with the knowledge and information they need. And librarians don't just stamp books. Here's a list of 82 things they do:

And there's a compilation of lots more reasons how UK public libraries are useful:

And if you think public libraries are expensive or not value, then you might want to read this:

30% of people don't have the net at home, either because they can't afford it or don't have the skills to use it. And the cost/skills thing is applicable to many people for downloadable ebooks too. Many books, much knowledge isn't online anyway; that's what people often need a good librarian for.

If you lose libraries then a whole layer of society loses access to a large proportion of the information and knowledge they could have. How does that help them? And how does that, ultimately, help society?

Thank you,

AmandaHart Thu 06-Oct-11 20:47:05

p.s. please consider telling other people to sign it. Thank you.

Mcnorton Fri 07-Oct-11 15:02:41

My library is always thriving, especially the children's section. Fortunately our council is investing in library services but I will be signing as I think it's important all children get the chances mine is getting.

Solopower Sat 08-Oct-11 13:36:03

Definitely signing. Our library is great. I know schoolkids who don't actually have a computer at home and have to go there to do the increasing amounts of homework that require the use of a PC.

Cogito, I like your idea of a gathering point, but in reality it might get too big and unwieldy, IMHO, with food chains trying to get in on the action, and people wanting to sell you things. I think smaller and local is better than one super-duper mega library/post office in town that pensioners and pushers of buggies and wheelchairs find it difficult to get to.

A library can be a place for social gatherings (without the food), and ours serves all ages in the community.

ChickenLickn Sat 08-Oct-11 16:27:40

Ive signed it, our library is great!

Kids do their homework there after school and in the holidays, many books on interesting things, computers on which I retrained and got my current job, etc, etc They also have regular events and local information. It really is central to our community.

I hope everyone can enjoy the same standard.

frillyflower Fri 21-Oct-11 23:11:18

I have signed too.

bobthebuddha Tue 25-Oct-11 16:01:34

Not much over 12,000 signatures. Where is everybody?? MNHQ?? Libraries are such a central plank of a civilised society, especially one with a high proportion of non-native English speakers as they're such an essential resource for learning & study.

The e-petition calling for rioters to lose their benefits exceeded 100,000. There are 600,000 registered Mumsnet users (no idea how many active ones) & it has around 25,000 posts a day. There must be some more takers out there...

shabbytabby Tue 25-Oct-11 16:30:34


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