A reminder for those of you in the FoCL Working Group:

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The next FoCL General Meeting is on Tuesday, 30 September, at the Courtyard Cafe, Chagford, 7:15 for 7:30 start.

The date was changed from Monday, 22 Sept. (in an email sent to everyone on 15 Aug.) , in order not to clash with the opening of the Chagford Film Festival.

If you have any items to add to the agenda, please send them in to friendsofchagfordlibrary [at] gmail [dot] com by Thursday, 23 Sept.

See the Working Group Diary page for more information.

Library Campaign Art

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Bradley posters

If you’re curious about where the retro-look Library Campaign art used on this website comes from: These images are classic British government posters from World War I and World War II.

(Some of you might be old enough to remember some of the original posters!)

The messages on the posters were re-vamped for the UK’s national Library Campaign by Phil Bradley, library technology consultant and past president of CILIP (the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals). He has graciously allowed us to use the images for Chagford’s local library campaign, along with his best wishes for our campaign’s success.

You can see the entire collection of retro Library Campaign posters here.

Library campaign updates

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Here’s a round-up of recent news stories related to the local and nation Library Campaign:

* Unison has just launched a new petition protesting the threatened closure of rural libraries. Go here if you’d like to sign, and please pass it on to family, friends, and neighbors.

* Ashburton Library (one of the 28 rural libraries under threat) is considering moving into the Ashburton Post Office.

* Voices for the Library has just issued a smart and reasoned response to the new Rural Libraries Report.

* Another reason we need to keep libraries open: A major international study by the OECD finds that UK graduates lack literacy skills.

* The Read On Get On campaign aims to make radical improvement in reading standards one of the central goals of politics and education in the next decade. (A note to the campaign: saving our libraries would be a good start!)

Friends of the Library at Chagford Carnival!

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We took part in the Chagford Carnival Parade yesterday, and had a jolly good time! Here’s our Carnival group in the picture above: made up of local Library Friends both young and old…plus librarian Erica Loram (the Queen of Hearts). We were also joined by two visiting writers in support of our library campaign: Ellen Kushner and Delia Sherman. (Click on the links if you’d like to know more about their work.) We wore costumes from our two big summer events: The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party and A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Hollow Meadow.

Many thanks to all who participated — especially our young Alice and Mad Hatter — and to everyone in Chagford who cheered us along the way!

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Thanks also to the Chagford Pantomime group, Jenny Gayton, and Todd & Carol for costume and mask loans; to all who helped with signs and photographs; and to the Chagford Carnival Committee for their hard work.

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Carnival 10

The photographs here were kindly provided by Neil Tappenden and Lin Copeland. The art in the “Save Our Library” poster is by Winslow Homer (1836-1910).

Why we need libraries

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World War II

The remorseless destruction of our national public library system continues. Librarians are sacked, books sold or thrown away, and buildings closed. Unison estimates that nearly 500 of the country’s 3,100 libraries are being cut. No one expects things to get better, or even to stop getting worse. But it did not need to happen like this. The collapse marks a failure of will and imagination not an inevitability….

“[The] vision of public libraries as an essential part of a functioning literate nation was lost here before we realised it was gone. In the great general turning from the state we failed to understand that one of the things that taxes ought to fund is a general, unglamorous and reliable access to culture for everyone.”

The Guardian View on the Loss of Public Libraries

You can read the full article here.

(The photograph above is from the London Blitz, 1940s.)

Why we still need libraries, and printed books

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Click here for one of many recent studies indicating that reading comprehension decreases when reading ebooks rather than printed books —  possibly because the entire kinetic experience of reading a printed book aids in the retention process.

So the next time you hear a politician say that we should abolish rural libraries and give rural children Kindles instead, bear this in mind…

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