Over the weekend, we sent photojournalist Shannon Jackson to the mass read in protest to the cuts that Cardiff libraries are facing. Here’s what she saw there.
SHANNON: “When I first arrived at the protest sight, there were no more than ten people to be seen, placing a feeling of disappointment in the pit of my stomach. However, not 15 minutes later over 200 locals swarmed Cardiff Central Library, holding placards, homemade signs and their favourite books. From children to the elderly, the support was overwhelming. The passion and determination on the faces of the crowd showed just how important the libraries are, and how devastated so many people will be if they aren’t saved.”
At the protest, the following authors read on the day:
Belinda Bauer – Crime novelist, 2010 CWA Gold Dagger Award winner.
Gwynneth Lewis – inaugural National Poet of Wales.
Sally Roberts Jones – Port Talbot-based historian, publisher and former librarian.
Peter Finch – Author of ‘Real Cardiff’ series, former head of Academi/Literature Wales.
Jackie Morris – Pembrokeshire-based children’s author
Llyr Gwyn Lewis – Welsh lecturer,Swansea University, Recent novel: Rhyw Flodau Rhyfel (Some War Flowers).
Francesca Rhydderch – Novelist, Editor
Gwennan Evans – Author of ‘Bore Da’, Radio Cymru regular
Jo Mazelis – Swansea-based novelist.
Labi Siffre, Poet & Musician (Hits: “Something inside so strong”/”It must be Love” – covered by Madness)
Mike Church, Poet
Speeches were also made by –
Steve Belcher, UNISON regional organiser
Madhu Khanna Davies – Save Rhydypennau Library campaign
Maggie Simpson – Cardiff Central library assistant
Michael Sweetman, Unison and
Phoebe, 12 year old borrower and reader.
Sent messages of support –
James Dean Bradfield, Manic Street Preachers
Owen Sheers, Poet, Prose Writer, Born in Abergavenny
Tessa Hadley, Novelist
Sheenagh Pugh, Poet, Novelist, critic, reviewer
Jenny Sullivan, Popular Children’s Novelist
Kate North, Novelist, poet, lecturer in creative writing at Cardiff Metropolitan University
Gillian Clarke, National Poet
Malachy Doyle, Young People’s Writer from Northern Ireland, Lived in Wales 1984-2007
Thomas and Helen Docherty, Married Childrens Author & Illustrator team
Kaite O’Reilly, Playwright, Fiction writer
Laura Wilkinson, Short stories author & novelist
Brian Moses, Favourite children’s poet
Cathy Cassidy, Children’s author, Save Liverpool Libraries campaign
Alan Gibbons, Children’s Author, Founder of National Libraries Day
Greg Cullen, Playwright, Cardiff People’s Assembly
Romy Wood, Novelist
Sally Barker & Menna Elfyn, Wales PEN Cymru
Chaired by Mab Jones, Award winning Comic Poet &
Adam Johannes, Co-Convenor, Cardiff People’s Assembly.
FINALLY please continue to bombard councillors with emails to save our libraries, this includes seven local branch libraries under threat, but also the running down of Cardiff Central Library with plans to lose yet another floor to move Marland House, the busy Housing Benefit & Council Tax Advice Centre into the building.
Find your local councillors to contact here –
Shannon Jackson is 20 and a first year Photojournalism student at the University of South Wales.
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