Join the campaign to highlight the importance of libraries

Ali Bowden
Director, Edinburgh
City of Literature Trust

23 February 2021

One of the essential components of Edinburgh as a City of Literature is her libraries: the small ones, the magnificent ones, the school ones and the community ones…libraries are a place where literature and community can come together. The #LibrariesAreEssential campaign is bringing the importance of libraries into focus, ahead of the Scottish Parliament Elections in May 2021.

Headed up by CILIP - Scotland’s organisation for library and information professionals - #LibrariesAreEssential is asking candidates standing for election to pledge to support libraries and their services, and asking members of the public to explain why they think libraries are a crucial part of a brighter future for Scotland.

If you have a case study which you think can support their case, or would like to add a supportive comment, the CILIP website is ready to add your voice to the campaign. Writers and poets are being encouraged to share creative responses to the #LibrariesAreEssential theme, with up to 40 lines of poetry or 500 words of prose, or a piece of art which explores libraries and their importance.

CILIP is asking all candidates standing for election to:

  • Support the funding of all libraries to ensure they can continue to support education, digital and information literacy, health and wellbeing, economic wellbeing and ​access to information.
  • Agree that misinformation is damaging society and eroding democracy, that libraries and information professionals are vital in combating this and that they should be valued and supported.
  • Ensure Local Government has the support required to ensure that they can deliver the new National Strategy for Public Libraries.
  • Ensure that school libraries and librarians are key components of curriculum delivery, as outlined in Vibrant Libraries, Thriving Schools, and that all school pupils have access to a trained librarian.

To find out more and to get involved, visit the #LibrariesAreEssential campaign page.

Did you know? Before lockdown, Edinburgh libraries had over 3 million visits year, with over 100,000 under 16s attending events and activities