So bit of a serious moment here (what do you mean, I never did Day Two of my con report; it's coming, okay?). So the fine folk at reviews/fiction/geek culture website warpcoresf.co.uk have asked us to highlight stuff going on at Lincolnshire County Council, and this is serious stuff. Libraries are many people's primary or sole source of books, and they deserve our protection.
Here's the spiel:
Lincolnshire County Council plan to close all but 15 of the county's library buildings. They want to reduce the hours of the remaining libraries, take mobile library stops down from 400 to 126, sell off buildings, and cut 170 skilled library jobs. In all, these cuts are worth some £2 million, out of a front-line libraries budget of around £6 million.
You can read more details of the campaign here.
In order to save our libraries, we need to make our opposition to these cuts known before the 3rd of December, when the council executive make their decision. This is an outrage that will cut thousands of people off from the discovery of literature, it will damage literacy rates, and it will deprive many people of access to the internet. Libraries are also hugely important for midlist writers, for whom discovery is proving harder thanks to the closure of so many independent book stores.
Please tweet your opposition to @savelincslibs. If you'd like to go further and blog about this, an email to firstname.lastname@example.org will ensure I see your post and get it included in the Save Lincs Library links round-up, Facebook page, and so on.
I've heard quite a few authors say things like "Well, I'll help, but I don't know what good I can do." Having heard Patrick Rothfuss state that he still considers himself a newbie during a panel on world building at WFC, I suspect a lot of authors underestimate their impact on people. Please don't. Every word of support matters a great deal to the campaign, and to those communities that are threatened with losing their libraries. You are all more awesome than you suspect.
The Facebook page is here.