From Martin Remphry, Children’s Book Author & Illustrator
Since starting his campaign on 9 July to stop cuts in library hours across Cornwall, my 10 year old son Leon Remphry has gathered over 5500 signatures online and over 1500 on paper, giving up many of his Saturdays to pester the public outside his local libraries.
I hardly need to spell out to other authors and illustrators the value of libraries, not least because for many starting out on their careers the eagerly awaited PLR cheque each February is often a financial lifesaver.
Like numerous other children Leon has joined story times at the library, has enthusiastically taken the Reading Challenge each summer and has discovered many of his favourite authors, inspiring him to save his birthday money to buy their books or add them to his Christmas wish list.
Some say libraries have value only to children – nothing could be less true. Libraries are used gladly by the community as a whole, and not only for books. DVDs can be borrowed, toddlers and small children go to clubs, people use computers if they don’t have internet at home, socialising… the list is endless.
Some argue that the internet and E-books will make the libraries redundant, but these grand buildings and the services they provide cannot be replaced by bookshelves in pubs and post offices, nor can trained staff be replaced by volunteers.
My son has already gathered support from some of his favourite authors such as Phillip Reeve, Steven Cole, Damian Harvey and is grateful for your support.
Dear Adam Paynter,
We, the persons named below, living, working or writing about Cornwall support Leon’s campaign that Cornwall Council’s actions to cut the hours of libraries should halted immediately. We strongly believe that libraries provide an essential service and should be preserved.