#LibraryAtoZ – The General Election

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This is just a short post to say that I’ve sent out around 80 #LibraryAtoZ cards to candidates election offices throughout the UK in the lead up to the General election. I originally intended to send them out sooner, but the difficulty was identifying which parties would be standing where. I decided to target areas/regions where I knew cuts were either happening or were being proposed. Even though public library funding is the responsibility of local authorities, having library support in your area from a possible future MP (and therefore an influencer at central government level) is important.

The Library A to Z cards focused on the usual message of “These are the great things that libraries provide”, along with a request that the candidates’ party in that region pledges their support for libraries.

An advocacy idea in the run up to the general election

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There’s a suggestion on the Voices for the Library site about raising the issue of public libraries with candidates in the run up to the general election:

Candidates will be going door-to-door over the next few weeks and we think the cuts to public libraries should be one of the issues that canvassers are confronted with on the door step. It is for this reason that we have created two posters for you to post in your windows to highlight the importance of public libraries both to the politicians out canvassing for your vote and to your friends and neighbours.

The posters can be downloaded from here.

vftlelectionposter

IFLA Public Libraries Section Meeting (Feb 2015)

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The minutes for the February 2015 IFLA Public Libraries Section meeting have been released.

It’s interesting reading – covering aspects of what is happening around the world in public libraries, various projects IFLA are working on, planned events, and themes to focus on.

A few things that caught my attention in particular were:

  • The IFLA Satellite event in Philadelphia proposed theme: an emphasis on “why public libraries should be free.”
  • The use of the Lyon Declaration (access to information and development) as an advocacy tool at local level.
  • The desire to update the Public Library Manifesto – a joint manifesto with UNESCO.

It’s well worth reading through the brief minutes, just to get a feel for what is going on in public libraries worldwide and the issues affecting them.