Take That concerts for 3 year olds

I’d like to talk about libraries.

Bear with me, it’s important. (Frog’s Northern Granny says so and you don’t want to mess with her – she’s a librarian).

Now, unless you’ve been abroad for a year or living in a hole somewhere, you might have gathered there’s been a bit of a fuss about libraries recently. Back in February, there were a load of very civilized “Read-ins”, where people went and sat in their local library reading books for a day. While it all sounds rather relaxing, they were actually making a very important point: libraries are under threat and we need to start showing we care about them.

The thing is, it doesn’t end there.

You might not know about it, but the Government’s reviewing a raft of duties that local authorities legally have to stick to. The Public Libraries and Museums Act of 1964 is one of them. This is the law that says local authorities have to provide a comprehensive and efficient public library service. In plain English, it means the likes of you and me get free access to decent books as well as all the other things that libraries do nowadays.

For mums like me, I’m talking about rhyme times and story sessions for our babies. Not the expensive ones you have to pay for, but the free ones, which are accessible to everyone.

When I was tiny, my mum and I used to go to the library a lot. We would sit and read a whole range of books for an entire afternoon. It was a treat, something I looked forward to and got excited about. It wasn’t that we couldn’t afford to buy our own books, we had a house full of them. But in the library, there were whole shelves of new stories. Ones I’d never read before. And if I was really lucky, there would be a story time, where an old woman would read to us and we’d have a little sing-song. As a three year old, this was my version of a Take That concert.

Then I grew up and went to university. And the library once again became my friend. When I was back home and needed to research an essay or do some background reading, I knew I could pop along to the local library and pick up a book. It was a given. Easy.

And then I became a mum. Once again I turned to the library. Not to read up on anything this time, but to have a reason to get out of the house. I took my baby to rhyme time sessions and sing-along time. All free. Unlike the many other activities we do together.

But it looks like history won’t be repeated. When my daughter turns three, I won’t get to take her to the library. We won’t get to find a quiet corner and read some new books. She won’t get a mini Take That concert in the form of a sing-along session. Because the libraries are going.

Unless we do something about it.

Remember The Public Libraries and Museums Act I was banging on about just now? This is the law that says councils have a legal duty to provide library services. Well the Government wants to find out if we think this still stands. Should councils still have to provide libraries? Are they needed, or are they a “burden” (their words, not mine).

If you want to speak up, all you have to do is fill in a form which takes all of two minutes. There are more details here.

If you think this doesn’t affect you, think again. False Economy recently published a map showing all the cuts and proposed cuts to libraries around the UK. The chances are you’ll see a red mark where you live.

So please make Frog’s Northern Granny proud. Fill in that form and tell them you want to keep the libraries. For your children. And your children’s children. And your children’s children’s children. (I could go on, but you get where I’m going with this).

Frog + book = happy baby







Filed under Books

13 responses to “Take That concerts for 3 year olds

  1. I’m glad you’ve blogged about this. This is an issue I’m very concerned about (and I will be filling that form!) since libraries have held an important place in my life from since childhood and I don’t want my kids to miss out. I haven’t checked yet but I’m pretty sure the one in my area is going to experience cuts of some sort as it’s perpetually underused. Nice for me when I’m in there as it’s quiet but sad as many are missing out.

    • It’s such a shame isn’t it? I think lots of people just can’t believe what amazing services you can still get for free nowadays (not for much longer by the sounds of it though!).

  2. Hi there,
    Good points in your blog, I still remember getting my first ever library card all those years ago.
    We all have a role to play in keeping the libraries open and that is to use them which so many people don’t do nowadays.


  3. A wonderful thing, libraries, I agree whole-heartedly with Frog’s Granny. Still stranded under a mountain of boxes, but finally managed a proper response to the Kreative Blogger award (thanks again): http://www.manana-mama.com/2011/04/smells-like-bad-music.html

  4. really good post we are in dnager of losing our school library which i normally keep open single handley with my fines!

    clicking through now…


  5. Great post. What with libraries closing and HMV shutting down bookshops around the country, I’m wondering where kids are going to learn how to love picking up, browsing and discovering a good book that they’ll never forget. Will fill in the form.


    • Yes it’s scary isn’t it? Nothing like discovering a brilliant book. I used to love sitting in the children’s section of our local bookshop almost as much as I loved going to the library. x

  6. In case it helps anyone: the reference number to enter in the first box of the form is DCMS_027. The second box is “secure provision of local library services”.

  7. granny from the north

    It has been good to hear all the stories about libraries not just as buildings we can close but as places where the lifelong reading habit is nourished. Of course lots of families read together at home but lots of families do not have that privilege for many reasons. What about the next generation? From an accountants viewpoint if we want our economy to grow libraries are essential and that goes for schools, universities, colleges, and there is still room for that book collection at home. thanks for listening…yes I have filled in the form…

    • You are so right. Libraries are vital to nourish reading habits, which are vital to nourish our future society – and economy. Cuts right now may seem like the best (i.e. quickest and easiest) financial option, but what about the future? I personally think they’re worth investing in. Thanks for pointing my attention to the issue in the first place!

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