As a huge supporter, appreciator and user of my local library I always turn out for National Libraries Day. And I'm not the only one. It's always packed with local families and community groups all coming together to share skills and time.
This year was no different. Local artist Andrew Holland was busy helping children paint portraits, the North Wales Owl Trust were along with some feathered friends, the African Drummers raised the rhythmic roof, Arty Party celebrated Chinese New Year by creating dragons and everyone was made to eat their words... on biscuits! All this as well as face painting, henna, baby yoga, tai chi and Asian cuisine.
It sounds a whole lot of fun, and it was! But I don't mind admitting that this year it came with a bitter edge. With over 50% of the libraries in my local Lancashire under threat of closure and no one quite sure where the government cuts axe will fall, this could potentially be the last Libraries Day in our very much valued, very much used local library.
Of course there is a campaign and a petition. Please go and have a look and offer your support.
So today the feeling was very much make the most of what we have while we still have it. I added a very special book to my performance.
'How the Library, (Not the Prince) saved Rapunzel'
words by Wendy Meddour pictures by Rebecca Ashdown.
This wonderfully quirky picture book tells the perfect tale of just how life changing and affirming a library can be.
Okay, I am probably a bit of a story telling King Cnut. Reading this won't stop the tide of closures we're facing, but I hope I made the people hearing it think a little harder about what they stand to loose and persuade them to fight that little bit harder. I also really hope the librarians busily working on the periphery heard it and realised just how important they are.
So Happy Libraries Day everyone. And if you really want to show how much you love your local library then Speak up for Libraries and help save it!