National Libraries Day is annual event, held of the first Saturday in February, which celebrates the work of libraries and librarians.
Now in its fifth year, the event has raised the profile of libraries as an important public service and raised awareness of the challenges that libraries, particularly public libraries, are facing. CILIP’s My Library By Right campaign offers more information.
In 2015, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy released figures that showed that over a hundred libraries closed that year and funding had been cut by £50m. There are 549 fewer libraries than there were in 2010, whilst library funding has been cut by £180m. Visits to libraries have reduced by 14%. Many more libraries have moved to volunteer control or have been outsourced.
Despite this grim reading, there were still 265 million visits to UK libraries last year. Help celebrate them this weekend.
The National Libraries Day website has a number of ideas. See which events your local libraries are hosting. Visit your local library and share a selfie using the hashtag #librariesday (or do the same if you’re in Goldsmiths Library on Saturday!) You can even tweet your support to @NatLibrariesDay. Tell the world what you love about libraries.
Find your local library by searching here. Joining a library is simple and you’ll be surprised which services they offer. Here’s some links to local borough libraries.