Sharing an event and some news from Cardiff People’s Assembly … save Cardiff’s Library Service
Cardiff’s public library service is being dismantled. The Central library, voted one of the top six libraries in the world, is now going through a second year of budget cuts. Last year they lost the top floor and a quarter of their staff, and closed one day a week. Next year it could become a “Super Hub” and lose even more floorspace when Marland House, the housing benefit and council tax centre, moves into the building. Hundreds of books have already been removed and library staff have been warned not to talk about the cuts on social media.
Meanwhile up to seven community libraries in Cathays, Radyr, Rhiwbina, Rhydypennau, Roath, Rumney and Whitchurch will stop receiving any council funding at all. The plan is to ‘hand buildings over to the community’ by making trained staff redundant and replacing them with volunteers. If these “community groups” cannot be found to take over they will have to close completely.
Libraries are more than a place to store books – they are the only free space where residents can meet in the winter, and a vital place for elderly, disabled and unemployed people to access computers and to search for work. Our right to participate in cultural life is essential for a democracy, and if we don’t put up a fight for these libraries now we won’t get another chance.
Be part of history. Defend our library service in our capital city. Make the council provide a comprehensive service as the 1964 Libraries and Museums Act demands: Save our libraries!
Get yourself down to CARDIFF CENTRAL LIBRARY on Saturday 7 February. This protest will take place in front of the library (not inside!). Please bring a book to hold up as a symbol of freedom, and banners, placards and signs. Authors, campaigners and members of the public are invited to read a three minute passage from a favourite book. Join in or go along and listen.
Saturday 7 February, 12:00 midday, outside Cardiff Central Library, The Hayes.
OTHER THINGS YOU CAN DO TO HELP:
Sign and share Unison ‘Save Cardiff Library Service’ petition:
Write to the paper –
Email a letter the South Wales Echo (under 250 words to be published include address and phone number which will not be published) explaining what the library service means to you and why it must be defended, not cut back: email@example.com
Write to the politicians –
In Liverpool, 11 libraries where saved when 500 authors, musicians and educators wrote to the mayor along with hundreds of school children sending love library letters. (See Cathy Cassidy’s love letter on the Internet).
Be part of history. Defend our library service in our capital city. Make the council provide a comprehensive service as the1964 Libraries and Museums Act demands. Write your love library letter to the leader of Cardiff council. Exercise your freedom of speech by discussing library cuts freely on Twitter, Facebook, Walesonline and letters to the papers. Show solidarity with library staff who have been banned from doing so.
Address your letters/emails to
Leader of Cardiff council
Cllr Phil Bale
Cardiff, CF10 4UW
with copies to:
Cllr Sue Lent
7 Pen-Y-Wain Place
Cllr Peter Bradbury (libraries portfolio)
10 Yarrow Close
Please copy in firstname.lastname@example.org and let them know of any replies.
See you on the streets!
This event and civic action is called by Cardiff County UNISON & Cardiff People’s Assembly. More power to the people!
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