Today we celebrated National Libraries Day with a programme of events arranged by members of the public in libraries across the county. Lots of fun was had with storytimes, book readings, author Q and As, games, face painting, songs and craft activities, and the brilliant ‘Flying Authors’ who did a fantastic job dashing around twenty-six of the county’s libraries!
Throughout the day, some of the Flying Authors were tweeting updates of their library visits. You can read some of their tweets here or on #NLD12. If anyone has photos of the day in their local library please send them in (firstname.lastname@example.org).
This was a day for celebration, but it is also worth reflecting that if it wasn’t for campaigning by us library users, many of the libraries where events took place today would have closed their doors for good last year – some still might, including the library with the highest usage per head of population in the county, Minchinhampton, where people of all ages took part in a vibrant programme of events today.
It is also a great shame that Gloucestershire County Council chose not to celebrate the library service and its wonderful staff by participating in National Libraries Day – all events were organised by members of the public. A huge thank you to Jo Kurlbaum for recruiting authors and organising visits, to all the local organisers, and to all the Flying Authors for taking part!
As well as events in Gloucestershire, people have been out in force across the country celebrating their local library and all that it offers their community. Children’s Laureate, library advocate, and FoGL supporter Julia Donaldson penned a special poem for the day:
Everyone is welcome to walk through the door.
It really doesn’t matter if you’re rich or poor.
There are books in boxes and books on shelves.
They’re free for you to borrow, so help yourselves.
Come and meet your heroes, old and new,
From William the Conqueror to Winnie the Pooh.
You can look into the Mirror or read The Times,
Or bring along a toddler to chant some rhymes.
The librarian’s a friend who loves to lend,
So see if there’s a book that she can recommend.
Read that book, and if you’re bitten
You can borrow all the other ones the author’s written.
Are you into battles or biography?
Are you keen on gerbils or geography?
Gardening or ghosts? Sharks or science fiction?
There’s something here for everyone, whatever your addiction.
There are students revising, deep in concentration,
And school kids doing projects, finding inspiration.
Over in the corner there’s a table with seating,
So come along and join in the Book Club meeting.
Yes, come to the library! Browse and borrow,
And help make sure it’ll still be here tomorrow.