page contents Why a library should never close its doors on children | mummy rates it

I have a bee in my bonnet. I’m not the only one. It’s keeping me awake at night and the closer it gets to ‘decision day’ the more het-up I feel. Our local library is faced with imminent closure and it saddens, infuriates and annoys the hell out of me that the people who are making the decision to close it seem oblivious to the reasons it should stay open.
Red Door Crop
Picture thanks to Ashpet @ Flicr.com

So this post has nothing to do with reviews or fashion. It has to do with how it is important to make a stand for the things that you believe in. I believe that my children are entitled to have a local library. I believe that no library should be closed. In fact, I believe the opposite – more should be opened. Yes, I know that times are tough, budgets are being slashed and reigns have to be pulled in but there needs to be a line drawn between things that aren’t essential and the things that are.

In a world of computers, games, flashing lights, the hungry need for fame, fortune and celebrity status isn’t it great that the simple pleasure of reading can enthuse the smallest of children? A trip to the library isn’t just about returning or choosing books, a simple in and out of the automatic doors. Often in Upper Norwood Joint Library there are story sessions, songs to be sung, authors visiting, Punch and Judy shows or face-painting.

Being inside the library allows children the chance to explore their imaginations, their minds and their capabilities in a safe environment. A chance to pick up a book on a subject they didn’t even know existed, a time to make their own choices on the books they can take home and, importantly, a time to read. Nobody can see into another person’s mind and know where they have been transported to when they read a novel, paw at a touchy-feely picture book or admire the artwork on a beautifully illustrated page. A book can do all these things and more. And that’s why I feel so cheated by a council who do not listen to their electorate. Who take the power of the people and cross through it so they can balance a sum here and cross a ‘t’ there.

Isn’t it one of the most touching things as a parent to feel that little head resting on your shoulder when you read a bedtime story? Has Cllr Mike Fisher of Croydon Council never watched a child being read to? Heard the repeated requests for a book to be re-read ‘just one more time’..? How sad for him and how sad for us that his misfortune and lack of understanding will be at the cost of all those parents and children who use and appreciate the library.

This is not the last on this subject. I want to post about how as a group we flash-mobbed the local Town Hall singing ‘Books, Glorious Books’ or how I visited my children’s school and listened to how the children want to do all they can to save their library. I don’t know whether any of these actions or the march into Parliament next week will make a jot of difference. What I do know is that my fight comes from the heart and I need to share this here on my blog. Thank you for reading.

If you are interested in the Save Upper Norwood Library (from closure) campaign please visit the Facebook page for details of action to take.

For more information about the “Speak Up For Libraries” lobby of Parliament and rally on 13th March click here.

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