During the year long campaign we have fought against the disastrous and ill-considered 43% cuts to our library service we have been spurred on and encouraged by the many messages of support we have received from authors and celebrities.
Amongst them were best-selling author Joanna Trollope who wrote a very powerful and heartfelt piece highlighting our plight in The Guardian newspaper and Children’s Laureate Julia Donaldson, author of the much loved book The Gruffalo, came to meet with us to offer her support.
As soon as the judgement was announced at the High Court in London yesterday in favour of library users we immediately received the statement below from Julia Donaldson and got an email from Joanna Trollope’s PA to tell us how pleased for us Joanna was and that she had “dashed over to Broadcasting House” to do an interview on the matter on BBC Radio 4’s World at One programme. We also received an email from award winning comedian and writer Robin Ince who said
“in a week that has been bleak this is wonderful news”
This support really has been the icing on the cake and we are most grateful for their continued support and indeed to everyone who has supported us.
Julia Donaldson’s message:
This is the best news I’ve had all year. What a triumph for the all those committed campaigners, for libraries, and for common sense.
While it is admirable that the residents of Gloucestershire and Somerset were determined, organised and brave enough to go down the route of litigation, it is shameful that they had to do so. This costly process could have been avoided if the councils had listened to the arguments and above all if the Government had fulfilled its statutary requirement to superintend library services.
The judge ruled that the removal of public library services from “the most disadvantaged, deprived and vulnerable members of our community” was grossly unfair. I say “hear hear” and would like to add that it is grossly unfair to remove libraries from children. Where else nowadays can they find a range of physical books which they can handle and choose from and borrow free of charge, thus forming their tastes in reading? Our child readers are our future adult readers. Do we want a nation of non-readers? No, of course not – but again, that is common sense, something which it appears we have to fight for..