Sunday, 7 February 2016

National Libraries Day - a round-up by Dawn Finch

The dust has barely settled on National Libraries Day 2016, but we can safely say that it was bigger than ever! It has been over five years since Alan Gibbons first proposed a day of national library celebration, and since then it has grown into the huge celebration that we look forward to each year. With over 400 events listed on the National Libraries Day website, and many hundreds more going on around the country, this year has been another huge success.

The day was covered in almost all national newspapers and in all media formats. There were some powerful articles about the importance of our libraries. I can't possibly list them all, so I will just link to a couple that I found particularly moving. In the Guardian there was a very emotional article written by an anonymous librarian who knows that, for many people, the librarian is the only person that they speak to - and the only human contact they have. The same paper also carried a wonderful collection of library love letters from top authors.

We heard interviews with top authors and library people on the radio, and on the tv. Social media burned hot with endless mentions and the two hashtags (#librariesday and #nationallibrariesday) were trending by 9am and kept going all day. Thousands of messages, blogs, photos and articles were shared as the nation celebrated its libraries and librarians.

Here is a very brief round-up of my favourite moments from the day. I could not possibly gather together all of the amazing things that thousands of people shared and so this is a teeny tiny collection of things that made me smile. Please do share your own favourite NLD moments in the comments below.

Our ambassador for NLD16 was Ann Cleeves and she told us what she thinks about libraries.


Elmer's dad, David Mckee, gave us this marvellous quote. I find this very touching, and it says so much about the greater importance of our library service.

I love a shelfie, and there were a good number to choose from. Here's Nicola Morgan with hers.

Word was spreading far and wide and librarians overseas made their contribution.

Sarah McIntyre made a glorious contribution with this poster. I can see librarians using this for a long time to come.

It wasn't just people showing us how important libraries are, even animals got in on the act.

I think that the translate functions were a bit overwhelmed. Librarians are way too smart for the machines understand.
The Scottish Booktrust shared a stunning poem from Jackie Kay. A truly beautiful poem about a place that has been by her side throughout her life.


And last (but never least) it wouldn't be Libraries Day without a chocolatey or hat-based contribution from Philip Ardagh. Here he is showing his library love in the most stylish way.


The full details for NLD16 have not been collated yet, but keep an eye on the NLD website for full write-ups and information about next year and other events. You can even join in the wonderful Elmer competition.

Thank you so much to everyone who supported National Libraries Day, and especially big thanks to everyone who works hard to keep our libraries going. You are all amazing and you should hear that every day of the year.

If you are inspired by all this, and filled with library love, join us on Tuesday February 9th and lobby Parliament to challenge their handling of public libraries in the UK.
You can find out all of the details here, and sign up to attend.
You could also support the CILIP campaign petition here - #mylibrarybyright
Use it, love it, save it – speak up for libraries!


Article by Dawn Finch



3 comments:

Joan Lennon said...

Public libraries are an indicator species for a civilised society.

Dawn Finch said...

You are so right!

Penny Dolan said...

Thanks for this cheerful post, Dawn, and for all the happy events.

Much needed as right now I feel full of sorrow at what is happening in our public libraries. Here, where I live, the poor staff are just submitting to another another another round of "role re-appraisals", with a view to further redundancies - there are few enough staff as it is! - amid a huge push for "volunteer libraries". However, these latest cuts won't be fully visible until 2017, and the number of true "library staff" is desperately thin already.

Clever, eh, 2017? From those who have probably never been inside a public library as a reader or user. Feeling angry here. Please re-read Dawn's post to find better cheerfulness.