One of Scotland top Children’s authors has issued a personal appeal for Moray Council to reverse their decision to close almost half the libraries in the region.
Debi Gliori has said that Moray holds a “special place” in her affections as she has been involved with its library service for five years during the creation of the ‘Spirit of Moray’ book festival.
The award-winning Scottish author of the “Mr Bear” book series said that the reason she returns time and again to Moray is because of the enthusiasm of library staff in the region.
She said: “Libraries are one of the last outposts of democratised learning in our society. Libraries are for everyone, regardless of their birthright.
“From newborn babies and parents coming to rhyme and song sessions with BookBug through to our oldest citizens enjoying the fruits of their decades as taxpayers and accessing the multiplicity of library services on offer, the libraries operate an inclusive, all-welcome policy that allows everyone equal access to a wealth of knowledge.”
“For Councillors to intimate that this generous provision can be replaced by individual access to the internet is misleading and utterly wrong.”
Stressing the need to maintain library services for ‘vulnerable’ citizens for who the internet simply does not exist, the author added: “For Councillors to state that the core library users are mainly older citizens and thus a ‘dying breed’ is false.
“Children by the thousand poured into moray libraries during the annual book festival. Raucous, giggly, excited, wide-eyed children used the library, met writers, discovered that stories in books can move you to laughter, to tears, make you shiver with terror, can change what you think, and in the end can change the world and how we live in it.
“I’m not surprised Moray council seek to close libraries. Libraries are storehouse of our collective knowledge, and as we know – knowledge is strength. When we find out what’s being done, what has been done to our birthright; our once kindly society’s free healthcare, free libraries, free schools – how all of that provision has been spent on bailing out banks and boosting bonuses – when the knowledge of that theft reaches all of our citizens, then we might seek to bring about a bigger change than simply stopping the closure of much-needed and loved libraries.
“The closure of libraries is not simply about saving money to spend on other important things (bonuses, banks and bungs) but is about stifling the voice of ordinary people.
“The closure of libraries is an intellectual land grab; it’s ensuring that we remain uninformed, ignorant and permanently in the dark. The closure of libraries is stealing our intellectual future.”
In a press conference today the Save our Libraries Moray campaign revealed Hopeman mother Vivien Hendry would be seeking a Judicial Review into Moray Council’s decision.