FEATURE: Be a Brighton & Hove borrower
I was walking down George Street at the weekend when a leaflet was thurst into my hand. Expecting to be harangued about something or other I took a step back. But the message was benign and very welcome. “Do you use Hove library? It reopens on Tuesday”, “I will!” I said.
I adored the library as a child, would get out as many books as I could, and spend hours reading them in the cupboard under the stairs. As an adult, moving around from year to year, you lose track of your local amenities – but now, having had it thrust under my nose, I wanted to get back in the habit.
Having only moved to the area this April, I was unaware that Hove's bookwarms had been deprived of their Carnegie Library for seven months and that it was only thanks to their campaigning that it wasn't closed down altogether.
According to the leaflet, the Government has reduced national library book stock by 20% (equivalent to 20 million volumes) since 1997.
This may not seem like a 'green' issue but it is about community and sharing knowledge and resources which is what we like here at City Hippy.
We seem to have forgotten amidst the myriad three for the price of twos that library books are free – for as many as you want!
So to reverse the Government's worrying actions, order as many books as you can at your local library about subjects that you care about – like going green! - and make it a great resource for the whole community.
Hove library is not alone in its mission to get people reading for free again, browsing the Saturday Guardian Review, I discovered there is a nationwide campaign to improve local libraries. Love Libraries wants to know what you think of yours – and how it could be better. They are transforming 3 libraries in 12 weeks, and 150 authors, including JK Rowling and Salman Rushdie, have signed up to be Love Library Champions.
As Mark Haddon, author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, comments, 'The local library service is the NHS for the imagination. And we should hang onto it for dear life.'