UK continues to gut its Public Library system, even as Patrons keep fighting back.

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                                                                                                                                                                    “a place of refuge and reinvention’:what my local library means to me.” Refuge and  ReinventionReinvention–an overarching theme at last weeks Public Library Association Conference in Denver; Public Libraries must reinvent themselves to stay relevant. But read these Library loving patrons’ comments– UK libraries have expanded and reinvented and remained very relevant– yet 350 have closed over the last 6 years, and 25% of Library jobs forever gone. So if public libraries reinvent and stay relevant and the public loves their libraries and their librarians, why are they being closed?

From The Guardian:

‘A place of refuge and reinvention’: what my local library means to me
Libraries are facing a crisis, with many at risk of closure because of cuts. We asked people to tell us what their local libraries mean to them
There’s something about local libraries.

For some, the library is a place to read. For others, it’s a place to learn how to use the internet, or whatever else they fancy. Yet libraries are under threat – over the last six years, almost 350 have closed. Many are fighting for their existence today, either being forced to closed or being run entirely by volunteers.

The communities using them are fighting back – in South London, local residents occupied Carnegie library for more than a week in protest against its closure.

So, unsurprisingly, when we asked our readers what their library means to them, we received hundreds of responses. Here’s what they told us about their local libraries:

I will never forget the kindness of our local librarians
My husband, Ian, developed Alzheimer’s 8 years ago at the age of 57. Within a very short time he lost his ability to read due to significant loss of sight. Our local librarians signed him up for free audio books and DVDs. They arranged to keep his library card at the library. For all of these years, whenever he goes to the library, one of the staff greets him and accompanies him to the audio book section, reads the blurb on the case to him and puts the books on his card. He continues to tell people about the wonderful books he has been ‘reading’. Recently, a library Memory Group has been set up. Every Thursday morning people with memory problems (and their carers) meet for an hour for memory stimulating readings as well as coffee and biscuits. Ian loves this group, for the readings, for the company of its members and for the sense of support engendered.

I will never forget the kindness of our librarians and how they helped my husband, and, by extension, me, at the most difficult time of our lives.

Gail Grant, member of Royal Wootton Bassett library

Read full article here.

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