Nearly 200 people protested outside Leiston Library on Saturday to demonstrate their opposition to Suffolk County Council’s plans to break up the library service. Young and old alike were united in their passion for our local library service and their determination that Leiston library will not close.
Protesters were addressed by Sandy Martin (Labour leader on Suffolk County Council), Steve Smedley (founder of the Save Leiston Library campaign and Labour District Council candidate for Leiston ward) and Ann Nunn (Leiston Town Council).
The fantastic show of support for the Save Leiston Library campaign sends a very strong message to the County Council that local people will not accept the loss of vital community services provided by their local library and that the council must reconsider their shameful proposals.
The Leiston library protest was just one of many similar demonstrations taking place across the country as part of a national day of action to Save Our Libraries. Equally well-attended events took place across Suffolk, including in Stradbroke, Bungay and Rosehill in Ipswich.
The County Council’s plans for libraries not only threaten services but also put the jobs of professional librarians at risk. It is these skilled and dedicated people who are the library service’s most valuable resource and we cannot afford to lose them.
Many people on Saturday expressed their wish to continue the protests to save Leiston library and so we are planning another day of action on Saturday 5th March.
This will be an even larger event, with local book clubs and reading groups playing a leading role. The intention is to march though Leiston town centre to another demonstration outside the library in Old Post Office Square. Details will be circulated as soon as they are finalised.
I hope that everyone will be able to support this event for what is certain to be another memorable show of opposition to library cuts and closures in Suffolk.
I know that many people at the protest on Saturday were keen to help out with all sorts of campaigning ideas, so I would be grateful if they could contact the campaign so we can begin to build a strong group of committed individuals to take the Save Leiston Library campaign on to the next stage.
We have now also opened an online e-petition on the Suffolk County Council website:
Please add your signature to the growing list of those opposed to the County Council’s plans for our library service and for Leiston library.