Progress so far
Campaigners across the county have been doing a fantastic job, braving snow and ice to help reach our target of 5,000 signatures by the 31st December.
Last weekend campaigners visited several of the areas where libraries face severe cuts or closure. In some areas members of the public were completely unaware of the proposed cuts (so much for the public consultation!), and nearly everyone we spoke to strongly opposed the plans and were keen to sign. We think we must have collected around 1,000 signatures all together on the weekend alone.
But there is still lots of work to be done if we are going to reach our target. We need to get out to all the areas facing cuts, so if you live in an area where the library faces cuts or closure, and have time to spend an hour or two collecting signatures please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remember, we are not allowed to collect signatures inside the libraries themselves, so please do not ask this of the librarians as it puts them in a difficult position. It’s fine to stand outside the library (wrap up warm!). A top tip is to make yourself a simple sign which you can pin to your jacket/back of your clipboard, saying ‘save our libraries’ or suchlike. This means that people won’t avoid you because they think you are doing market research or trying to sell them a conservatory! It’s also a good idea to ask local shops, churches, community centres etc if you can leave a petition with them.
We’ve had lots of people downloading the petition from the website and requesting copies in the post. Please keep ciruclating the petition amongst family, friends, colleagues and contacts.
Thanks so much to everyone for your hard work collecting signatures so far, and keep up the good work!
We are aware that some library users have organised their own petitions to express concern at cuts to a particular library. Examples we know about are Bishops Cleeve, Churchdown, Cinderford and Longlevens and there may be others. We would like to stress that we fully support these groups in their efforts, and the county-wide petition launched by Friends of Gloucestershire Libraries is not intended to compete with them in any way.
It is our view that the various local petitions and the county-wide petition complement each other. Local petitions show residents’ strength of feeling around cuts to their local service, while the county-wide petition calls for an urgent and transparent review of the decision making process which has led to these cuts being proposed. As such, we ask that anyone who has already signed, or is planning to sign a local petition, also sign the county-wide one. We would be really keen to hear from the groups/individuals organising these local petitions about how you are getting on, and to talk to you about how we can work together and support one another’s efforts.
We have also heard reports that some people believe they are not able to sign both a local and the county-wide petition, as this may invalidate one/both. We cannot stress strongly enough that this is not true. This would only be the case if both petitions had identical wording and made identically worded demands, which they do not. It’s absolutely fine to sign both – they complement each other.