Rally for Library announced

Birmingham writers in show of public support.

A public rally in support of all Birmingham’s libraries will be held outside the new Library of Birmingham on Saturday 7th February to coincide with National Library Day.

Many hundreds of members of the public are expected to turn up to hear Birmingham leading historian Professor Carl Chinn and local writer Judith Cutler, Brum’s Queen of Crime, speaking. Local musicians, poets and storytellers will join with the public to perform at the rally and tell of their love of this library and their community libraries. Award-winning Birmingham-born poet Benjamin Zephaniah has also sent a message of support which will be read out.

The rally will celebrate Birmingham’s libraries and will call for Birmingham City Council to re-think proposed budget cuts to the new Library of Birmingham along with Community Libraries.

There will be a symbolic hug of the LoB and people will link arms around the front of the library. Those taking part are also asked to enter the spirit of the occasion by dressing as their favourite literary character.

An invitation has been sent to Sir Albert Bore & Cllr Penny Holbrook to accept the 5,000 plus strong petition calling for the library cuts to be reversed.

The rally has so far received wide support from the West Midlands Pensioners Convention, Friends of Birmingham Archive and Heritage, Birmingham UNISON and groups representing local readers and writers.

A spokesperson for the Friends of the Library of Birmingham said: “While the council decides on its final budget for 2015-16 this rally is intended to remind them of the huge support for public libraries in this city. We are calling on the council to listen to what people have told them during the budget consultation and to reverse the proposed library cuts.”