Tuesday 19 October 2010

Libraries and the writer- and readers too...

Tomorrow the Government announce the results of their Comprehensive Spending Review and we all know that means more cuts are coming.

Last week the list of Quangos to be closed or transferred was announced and writers everywhere were very disturbed by the intention to transfer the PLR (Public Lending Rights) to another "existing publicly-funded body".

Read the statement in PLR News here.

PLR payments are vital to many authors who aren't in the best seller lists and don't  have books available in major booksellers. They are writers of local history books, romances in formats specifically for library purchase.
6p to the author each time it is loaned out is not much- and that depends on your book being in some of  the libraries being used for counting each year.
Cuts to arts funding in the past few years has meant this amount has not increased, nor would it be rising this year.

Last week our local newspaper listed pages of cuts highlighted by our County Council. The library service will suffer very badly with staff cuts and closures, as well as fewer books purchased. We lost a small village library nearby a couple of months ago.

One of our local publishers Ross Bradshaw- a man who has always supported writers in Nottinghamshire (a Lowdham Book Festival organiser)- sent an e-mail to writers and publishers on Friday asking for their support in his letter of protest over the library cuts. He has a hundred names supporting his stance.

I know how big a part the library (in my own home town) played in the writer I have become. It was a building full of words, adventures and facts that fed my growing mind and imagination.

I'm certain that some of our great writers, like Alan Sillitoe, wouldn't have stepped out of the life intended for them if it hadn't been for access to libraries.

Reader or writer, that should be available to all children and adults...

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