Today is National Libraries Day, the culmination of a week of activities in schools, colleges, universities, workplaces and libraries across the UK. It’s the second year that Blackpool has marked the occasion and all eight libraries will be coming together for a day of celebration. National Libraries Day gives us an opportunity to love our libraries and celebrate the positive difference they make it communities across the country.
Central Library will be a focal point for celebrations throughout the day with a host of events and competitions on offer from 10.30am onwards. Visitors are invited to try out the photo booth to create their own photos free of charge, add a decoration to the arts and crafts tree, or if they’re feeling up to a challenge, enter “The Hardest Literary Quiz Ever” to be in with a chance of winning a £20 prize.
For the kids there are a series of free, one hour long music based workshops starting at 10am at Boundary Library, 12 noon at Central Library and 2pm at Layton Library. Plus, a room filled with Lego for the aspiring builder, families quizzes for the masterminds of the future and book fun for the librarians of tomorrow.
In the evening why not head for Palatine Library for “Babs Cartland’s Love Your Library” and an opportunity to take a lighthearted look at the progression of the romantic novel. From Mr Darcey to Mr Grey and everything in between, a chance to share your love of reading and libraries over wine, nibbles, games and prizes.
I’m proud that we continue to support our local libraries and hope that residents and family continue to do so as well. These days, libraries are a lot more than just books, offering fun and interactive activities for all the family. Saturday is a great chance for people who do not regularly visit their local library to pop in and see how the building can help them and the wide range of facilities we offer there.
Nationally the closure of libraries is on the increase, a recent report from the Charter Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy showed that in 2010 – 11 there were 146 branches closed with that number going up to 201 in 2011 – 2012. In Blackpool we’ve been lucky. Back in 2011 Blackpool Council made a £1m investment in Central Library, with another £2m from Big Lottery Fund. The Grade II-listed Carnegie jewel in the crown of Blackpool’s library service was treated to a £3m upgrade and facelift bringing it back to life.
Speaking about National Libraries Day, Phillip Bradley, President of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals said:
In these times of austerity is clear that libraries are needed and valued more than ever. Librarians in conjunction with their members are working hard to protect and improve their communities, to increase literacy levels, and to provide training and support in many areas, from learning about the internet through to researching for a new job. National Libraries Day is an opportunity to celebrate everyone who works in a library, everyone who visits libraries, and to highlight to people who don’t visit them exactly what they’re missing out on.
So why not head down to the library today and let us know why you “Love Your Library” in the comments or tweet #ilovemylibrary.
For more information go online to the Blackpool Library Service website or National Libraries Day website. You can also like Blackpool Library Service on Facebook or follow them on Twitter: @bpoollibraries. For opening times visit the Blackpool Council website.
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