Thursday, February 3, 2011

Save our libraries

Sometimes it is not possible to get out and protest when you want to. I am tied to my studio table with a deadline to meet that feels impossible to achieve. All over Britain  authors and illustrators are going in to libraries in support of the library services in Britain. I can't go. In Sheffield a creative writing workshop for children was denied permission by the council on this day. The council thought that it might prove to be political. So the library decided to have a "Ssshhh" protest on 5th February.
In support of this I would like to ask all those who read this post to send to the library in Sheffield a short piece of writing about why it is that they love libraries, what the library meant to them when they were young, anything about the positive place of thelibrary in our society. A poem, haiku, sonnet, prose, anything. Just a few short lines, a silent, written protest piece in praise of the library, librarian. Send all writing  to 
If you want to send a piece in on Saturday send it to
Sometimes words unspoken can shout very loud.

Thank you.


  1. I have sent my protest,all the way from New York, Jackie. Thankyou for that link.

  2. wow... I cant beleive I'm still considered a radical for saying we're controlled all over the place, cancelling a pro libraries kids thing because it's considered poilitical?! surely the cancelling is way more a political act than being pro libraries, how can anyone NOT be pro libraries?!?! gah! P.s LOVE your work! I'm a much-less-achieved illustrator/artist and its great to see the work of a truelly skilled artist, I love your tigers! x

  3. Banning a creative writing workshop for children ?! Sheffield council must be one group of very jittery (not to say, paranoid) people. It's a backhanded compliment really, isn't it ? They are worried about anything where people (of any age) could get together and express opinions which, presumably, would make life more uncomfortable for THEM.

    All authoritarian regimes the world over, political and religious, have always feared books, feared people reading, feared people talking. All these things ARE highly political. Books empower people.

    Thanks for telling us about this, Jackie. I've just now emailed the good people at Sheffield Libraries.

  4. What a brilliant idea! It fits perfectly with our 'Shhh!'-in. Thank you so much for your support. It means a lot to all the staff here.

    Library Workers For A Brighter Future

  5. copy of my email:
    Good morning,

    just to let you know that public libraries made me the person I am, an avid reader and a school librarian. It was a public library where I first met The Famous Five, Biggles, Billy Bunter and Jeeves.I now feel blessed to be able to introduce wonderful characters to other children. The Save Our Libraries campaign together with The Campaign for the Book are crucial in supporting a literate and civilised society.

    yours sincerely,

    Beverley Turner

  6. I have sent my protest from Washington DC ... thanks for posting :)

  7. Universities as repositories of rigorously creative thought have finally given way to the market place's more strategic takes on learning. I guess I was relying on public libraries to fill at least a little bit of an increasingly whistling void; as somewhere to sit and read since the University of Tesco tossed me out. I see now, though, that even this little fantasy is as quaintly out of date as the dark-wood panels and decades-polished banister rails of Sheffield Central Library. My one saving grace is that I don't have kids to have to explain all this to.

    - posted to sheffield libraries

  8. Protest sent.. Happy to join in, just off to my local library here in windy Wivenhoe to sign my name to their petition.

    What is Sheffield library expecting an under 5's sit in?

    The counsil has gone crazy, what are they thinking... Lost their marbles I think, totally nutty!