Sarah McIntyre (jabberworks) wrote,
Sarah McIntyre

mass lobby of parliament for school libraries!

What a day we had lobbying! Ha ha, I had to post this photo by Candy Gourlay just because it made me laugh so hard. I was getting fake arrested by a very nice cop in front of Parliament after climbing on the portcullis. It was pretty awesome.

Photo by Candy Gourlay

Here's our team of fearsome librarians in Victoria Embankment Gardens! Librarians do not take abuse to their libraries sitting down, they are a force to be reckoned with.

Photo by Candy Gourlay

And here's Candy herself! We decided to hold a big Love In until the government would meet our demand that every school in Britain have a library, staffed by a trained librarian. You'd think that would be a pretty obvious thing, wouldn't you, but not to this government. (...Oh, and also, I just love Candy; it's a good excuse.)

The excellent librarian Barbara Brand (speaking here with a policeman) organised the event; she was a real trooper and, together with the team, got people to set up appointments with their MPs and made sure there were lots of printed t-shirts and placards.

Photo by Candy Gourlay

Some of Britain's finest writers and illustrators turned out for the day! Here are some of them. From the left: Mary Hoffman, An Vrombaut, Cressida Cowell, Philip Ardagh, Francesca Simon, me, Meg Rossof and Candy Gourlay.

Photo by Heather Kilgour

Oo, and it was exciting getting to meet Chris Priestley for the first time! (I love his Tales of Terror books, illustrated by David Roberts.) Here are three Tough Cookies, no one messes with these guys:

Candy Gourlay, Philip Ardagh, Chris Priestley

Here's Francesca, of the Horrid Henry books. And I was super-chuffed to see some people had printed out and coloured the poster I designed the night before! (See yesterday's blog post to download your own copy if you like.)

Here's a good look at the day's t-shirt, modelled by CILIP's Aaron Hussey. Hurrah!

And Meg and I getting VERY ANNOYED about the state of libraries in Britain right now. Our country should be PROUD of our libraries and helping them grow, not closing them down. How are kids supposed to know what to read if they're just loosed on Google to write reports? How will they develop a life-long love of reading? They need guidance, good recommendations, a well-stocked library with its best books turned cover outward for easy browsing, a safe space to let their imaginations take off. WHAT ARE YOU THINKING, GOVERNMENT? Meg and I are NOT AMUSED.

But we were slightly amused by the range of cupcakes in the House of Commons. Meg had a fine cake of the red velvet variety and I had a rather lurid purple cupcake. Nom nom. Priorities. (No, Ardagh did not get to lick my icing, thank you very much.)

Thanks to everyone who came out to march on a Monday afternoon, you're all the finest of superheroes.

Even Dave the Library Rat (with librarian Adrian Thompson).

A fabulous day! Let's hope the MPs took notice and we see some pro-library action!

Photo by Candy Gourlay

Otherwise we really WILL have to do something terribly dramatic and get ourselves locked up. Aïeeee!

Photo by Philip Ardagh

For more information and to get involved in supporting libraries, read the Press Release here and visit the Speak Up For Libraries website. Here's an article in the Huffington Post. The Society of Authors is always campaigning for libraries, and you can read writer Jeff Norton's piece about libraries on the CILIP website and The Bookseller website. Let's hope the government acts quickly and we don't have to wait so long that we all grow long beards. (Oh wait, I already did! Ardagh wanted me to post this photo, saying it was me.)

I'll post links soon to lots more relevant websites and blog posts about the day! I relaxed a bit about the photography because I saw Candy and the CILIP team were on the case (and it's hard to wield a camera phone while carrying a bag and a placard). So look out for their photos soon! I suspect lots of them will be linked on the event's open Facebook page and under the #lobby4schlib hashtag.

Edit: Some more follow-up blog links! Posts by Mary Hoffman and PJ Young.
Tags: libraries

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