Crowdfunding an illustrated A-Z defending libraries

Gary sends us, "a library crowdfunding project I am involved with. It is aiming to creatively highlight the value of public libraries to those who believe they are outdated or irrelevant. This is particularly important at the moment as many local authorities are closing libraries and reducing their hours, as a result of cuts in central government funding."

I put in £20!

We want to raise £2000 by 28th May to produce a visual A to Z of words that reflect the positive activities and benefits of libraries. These illustrations will be made available as creative commons licensed images and turned into a full colour illustrated book. The book will also include a short chapter emphasising the importance of libraries. We will use these as advocacy tools, sending them to people (particularly politicians) who may need reminding of the positive benefit of libraries.

Library A to Z illustrations, book and advocacy tools... (Thanks, Gary!)

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  1. This sounds like a fantastic project. While I definitely think the emphasis should be on public libraries, since they're most at risk, I'd like to see something that emphasizes the value of libraries generally.

    I speak from the experience of having once worked for the director of a library at a private university who believed libraries were outdated. He was close to retirement, and I think he wanted his legacy to be that he was the guy who saved the university a tremendous amount of money by cutting the library's budget to nothing.

    When someone who's job it is to run a library feels that way libraries need a strong defense.

  2. Been there, done that. The last academic library where I worked had a president who loved paying lip service to the value of the library, but never saw fit to allow us more room to serve a burgeoning student community. To my way of thinking, libraries are one of those services the rich see no need for since they've already benefited from their use. Budgets are tight all around, and yet the library is one of those places that doesn't just allow for easier travel or physically light your way--it does those things in your mind in terms of educating and expanding thought. As we shift ever-more to the information economy, the value of the library will become all the more apparent.

  3. At the risk of making this sound like The Four Yorkshiremen, at least the president where you worked paid lip service to the value of the library. The director I worked for--the man who was head of the entire campus library system--made his disdain for libraries quite clear. He started his directorship with a talk about how, because of the internet, the "physical library" would be completely obsolete in just ten years. He predicted this in 1998, and I think seeing it fail to happen frustrated him, so he tried to make it happen by encouraging university administrators to cut the library's budget. He even balked at paying for handicapped access, because, he said, there was no need for it.

    I'm sorry to go on at such length. It just still astounds me that someone who'd spent his entire career working in libraries had such an intense hatred of libraries.

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