We have been forwarded the following letter, written by 10 year old Hesters Way Library user Lauren, to Gloucestershire County Council, and reproduced in full below.
Dear Gloucestershire County Council,
I am here to write to you about the library cuts; we really want to stop this from happening for many reasons. Please take time to read this as this may change your mind.
Firstly, we need the library for school research and homework, we need to revise from books and we need an education by reading, and we also need it for helping us learn and explore the world of education ETC… We love the Hesters Way Library for many reasons like there are special events for us and even babies/toddlers! This way babies and toddlers can explore the world of happiness. Do you really want us to become illiterate? I bet you don’t, so put a stop to all this nonsense!
Also we need the library for computers and photocopying work so you can keep a copy at home and school, we need computers to have fun every once in a while, we need books to give us an education, everyone needs the library but there won’t be one soon as you are choosing the wrong choice of giving an education or make us illiterate! This is why I am hoping that this will change your mind.
Consequently we need you to take the opportunity to keep the libraries open and up running, but it can’t because you are blocking the path of freedom, education and happiness. You can make this different but it’s you to decide if this has persuaded you or if you still want to make us illiterate. Libraries aren’t just for us children, they are for adults too! We and adults need you so you can make it happen now…
Lauren (Age 10)
Throughout this campaign, we have emphasised the detrimental impact that the library cuts will have on our county’s children and young people.
Former senior Gloucestershire library staff have written to the media and to Councillors, teachers and parents have expressed their concern about the effect on children’s learning, local children like Lauren (above), Mily, and Cerys, Abbie and Daniel have told us why their library means so much to them, and scores of children and young people attended the national day of action events on the 5th February, and have keenly signed the county-wide petition.
Councillor Noble’s rather extraordinary response to these concerns has been to say that children and parents needn’t worry, as there will still be school libraries. This, despite the fact that schools have no statutory obligation to provide a library themselves, or to ‘buy-in’ Council-run library services for education (LSE), and many of them don’t. Full story here.