Saturday 5 February 2011

Read All About it!

Today is Save Our Libraries Day and I'm writing this in Bungay Library, one of our local Suffolk libraries, planned to be closed down by the Government. We're taking part in a big Read-In and the library is packed. People are taking out books, using the computer (I'm certainly using the computer!), taking out books and DVDs, reading papers, signing forms and communicating. The library has never been so noisy.

This is the community in action. All ages, all classes, all professions (including our local councillors and MPs and authors) coming together to show their solidarity, as well as their affection for the place and the culture that allows us to be intelligent, in contact and share our resources. Like many places Bungay Library is not just about books. It's a meeting hub for all kinds of collectives, from poets to environment groups and of course for Transitioners. Over the last year Sustainable Bungay have created a community garden in the paved courtyard, based on Permaculture principles, invited school children to plant bulbs, we've swapped seeds and produce ideas out there and in here had most of our core group meetings, our energy days and our reskilling sewing sessions.

We've helped organise this Read-In too. So I'd better go now and do my welcome-would-you-like-to-fill-out-this-form and pin your Why I Love the Library story on our giant pinboard . . . more news (and pix) later!

Next day: 220 people came through the door in two hours. Children were busy painting banners, everyone writing on the notice board, shelves were emptying fast. Elizabeth Jane Howard presided on the main reading table and at about 11.30pm there was a crescendo as the community confronted David Richie from the Suffolk Country Council and Peter Aldous MP. Just waiting for some pix to come through so you can see what that looks like. Meanwhile here is one of our Community Garden as some people kick-back from the fray . . . oh, and read a book!

Pix: noticeboard and poster by Josiah Meldrum; Bungay community with Transition Kate, Elizabeth Jan Howard and Peter Aldous MP; library community garden by Mark Watson.

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