Dear Friends of Friern Barnet Library.
We wholeheartidly support your struggle to re-open your library and to keep it open in the future!
In Sweden, would you believe, the understanding of words has dropped among children and adolecens.
Many believe it is due to less encouragement to read books and to get the library into your weekly routine.
In Stockholm, Bergshamra, we have just started a voluntary organisation some six months ago, in order to
reopen the library. Last year it was open six days a week and with staff. This year it is open only 3 - 4 days
and the official plans are to have it open without staff in the future. Sounds like science fiction to me and a
rather stupid suggestion at that. Librerians are innovative and skilful at their job. You cannot do without them!
We have arranged public meetings with authors; we have had actors read pieces from book (Doris Lessing for
example - her Nobel Speech: http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/2007/lessing-lecture_en.html
And some weeks ago we asked people in the community (8,000 inhabitants) to give us books for a jumple-sale.
We got three-thousand volumes and sold them for a profit of 10, 000 kronor (almost 1,000 pounds). Next Saturday
we have inviteted the responsibel politicians to answer questions about the future of the Library.
Of course, the argumentation is the same here as in Barnet - "costs must be cut". We say it is a matter of priority:
The children and the Senior citizens must have the Library open at hours they can visit it, and get help to understand
the computer, get good advice, meet other people looking for knowledge etc. A public library in the community is
a way to maintain public health, as well as democrasy.
I don´t know in Barnet, but here we have to pay some 2 billion kronor for a new foot-ball-stadium. And the roads
for single-driving (young) men going the venue must be built, but cycling-lanes are not built or kept in order. It is
mostly women who do the shopping and get the kids to schools and often by bike. Priority is the key word, I think.
We wish you great succes and long live the public library - for all the people, paid by the people and in benefit of the future society!
Bergshamra Bibliotekets Vänner (Friends of the Library in Bergshamra)