Petition: Save Birmingham Libraries

Photograph of an old library, with an owl statue outside

Post and petition from Friends of Libraries of Birmingham

Birmingham City Council has unveiled plans to close twenty-five neighbourhood libraries and consolidate services into a handful of what they bill as ‘Community Living Rooms’.

Closing these essential services will affect the most vulnerable in our communities and is certain to affect the education and life chances of young people in some of our city’s most socially deprived areas.

As journalist Caitlin Moran wrote in response to the last wave of library closures: “a library in the middle of a community is a cross between an emergency exit, a life raft and a festival”.

In the midst of a cost of living crisis, surely the council must understand that these spaces are even more precious than ever. Recent studies have proved what fantastic value libraries are – generating value of £3.4 billion pounds per year (Libraries Connected/Arts Council 2023) in terms of digital inclusion, children’s literacy and wellbeing.

Please join us in taking action to save these priceless and irreplaceable resources.

Again, over to Caitlin Moran: “On a cold, rainy island, they are the only sheltered public spaces where you are not a consumer, but a citizen instead…where the wealthy’s taxes pay for you to become a little more extraordinary”.

To reference the writer, Neil Gaiman on this issue, “This is not a matter of party politics. This is a matter of common humanity”. Let’s build high those barricades of Penguin Classics “to give our children a world in which they will read, and be read to, and imagine, and understand”. (Neil Gaiman)

Please sign the petition:

Save Birmingham Libraries