Recent Signatories 

  • Laurence Anholt
  • Jane Graham
  • Debi Gliori
  • Alan Gibbons
  • Maureen Keresey
  • Peter Grant-Haysey
  • Cathy MacLennan
  • Brian Moses
  • Sarah Jones
  • Jan Foss
  • Claire Freedman

"...the access to literature is vitally important to the development of the necessary skills to make the economy competitive as well as helping to maintain the culture and fabric of our society. In particular the access to literature and the development of reading for pleasure is vital to the developers of our creative industries which are major source of foreign earnings for the economy." 

-- Peter Grant-Haysey, 26 July 2015

"...once they are gone, there is no going back."

-- Sarah Jones, 26 July 2015

"  ...libraries are the life blood of reading and social centres for the lonely."

​-- Brian Moses, 26 July 2015

"...they are a free resource, open to all, vital for literacy, life skills and information."

-- Jan Foss, 26 July 2015

"The Aliens who Love Underpants are worried - what can we do to help?"

​--Claire Freedman 3rd August 2015

Your plan to axe five Barnet libraries  -- East Finchley, Mill Hill, South Friern, Osidge and Child’s Hill --  is a direct attack on the literacy of children in our community.

We, the undersigned authors, illustrators, creators, publishers, printers, distributors and intellectual property developers oppose these cuts on behalf of the children of Barnet and everywhere.

The UK creative economy is worth over £8 billion directly and employs over 1.7million people.  It is one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy and drives further indirect revenue. The TV series and films our characters and stories inspire drive further billions in exports, and make Britain a creative leader in original storytelling.
The imaginations of our children, however, are priceless.

Consider the facts:

  • Each year, 100,000 children’s fiction borrowings are registered from the five libraries you propose to close. If you persist with closing East Barnet, that number increases to 125,000.

  • The five libraries Barnet Council wants to cut have each demonstrated a growth in children’s fiction borrowing of an average of 20.6% in the last five years. To stifle this increasing trend amongst our children makes no sense and will deny many children the right to read books for pleasure.

  • The cost of maintaining all five of the libraries you want to close in Barnet is altogether only £700,000 a year – this is not even 0.25% of your budget. Each library you want to close serves thousands of children but doesn’t even cost 10% of what you spend on CCTV for parking enforcement.

We do not believe that libraries are a luxury that can be sacrificed in tough times: in East Finchley alone, 70% of the population are members of their local library. They provide much-needed environments conducive to reading and study for their users. They are needed now more than ever.

In a country that wants engaged, educated and skilled citizens who participate and add value to our communities, nothing could be more counter-productive than discouraging children from reading.
We urge you to reconsider the proposals and instead commit to maintaining Barnet’s full and comprehensive library service for the sake of our industry, our economy, our cultural heritage, but most of all, for the sake of our children.

 We stand in solidarity with the children who are marching on 12th September to save their libraries.





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