Friday 26 February 2016


Twelve year old George cares so much about libraries he came along to the Speak Up For Libraries lobby at Westminster. He made one of the best speeches of the day and had his photo taken for the newspapers with a bunch of bestselling authors! 

George says:
On Tuesday 9th February I went to London after being invited to attend the Speak Up for Libraries rally in Westminster. I was asked to be a junior reporter at the event, and wanted to attend as I feel so strongly about the situation libraries are in right now - so many are being closed. I prepared a short speech beforehand, just in case I had the chance to speak, and luckily I was able to give that speech. Although I was nervous, authors Cathy Cassidy and Eve Ainsworth were especially supportive, and I was so glad to be able to speak up and make my point.

Our government say they want all children to have a library card, but this is hypocritical when they then close libraries right across the country. There is no benefit to closing libraries. It is like shutting off a child's access to knowledge. There is no legal requirement for schools to have a library, so how can children find the books they need if they have no public or school library? Many families cannot afford to buy books, and certainly not enough books to satisfy young, curious minds.

At the rally we heard how some children use libraries to escape problems at home or school, and also to access brilliant literature and do homework. Not only this, the visually impaired can borrow spoken word stories, book onto courses and socialise; the unemployed can use the computers to look for work; families with young children can co to Rhymetime and Storytime and meet other new parents. Libraries are a safe place for people with mental health issues and offer contact for the elderly who might not see or speak to anyone for days and days. My local library holds sensory storytime sessions for children with additional needs, who may not always feel comfortable or welcome in mainstream toddler groups.

Before the Speak Up For Libraries rally, I worried mainly about how library closures would affect children like me, but after hearing the speakers I learnt that library closures will affect the whole of our society.

Cathy says:
George is a brilliant speaker... the star of the show as far as I was concerned, and is now part of a new YOUTH LIBRARY CAMPAIGN I am putting together. Do YOU feel strongly about library closures? COMMENT BELOW to have your say and email me via the 'email Cathy' link on if you are interested in being part of the YOUTH LIBRARY CAMPAIGN.

1 comment:

  1. George sounds so dedicated to saving our libraries.. I hope I will be able to meet him on day! Keep up the good work! :)



Reader Emily, aged ten, explains how a Cathy Cassidy book inspired her to raise money for a refugee charity... Emily says: The Cathy Cassidy...