Wales Blog Awards Winner 2014

Save Roath Library group launched

A new Save Roath Library Group has launched on facebook. Please head over and give them your support.

The group has been set up by library user Alice Shing. We were all moved by Alice’s speech at the protest against the library’s closure. She’s kindly shared her words with us:

My name is Alice – I live down the road from this library, my children and I walk past it most days, on the way home from school.

We often popped in; for shelter on rainy days, coolness on hot ones. Sometimes, it was just that they wanted to play in the children’s corner, with the cuddly toys.

But that is how it begins.

For them, Roath Library has been a treasure trove of imagination and choice – where they discovered the fun in choosing a story for themselves, and the sense of achievement in being able to read it. Within those walls, they found fairytales, learned about history, and were introduced to new ways of seeing the world.

Schools teach children the mechanics of reading, but libraries provide the resources to foster their joy.

The building needs repair, but closing it down would be a huge loss. It’s not just a mere building, that lends books –

For those who have very little, other than hope and determination, it provides a peaceful place to study, or computers to look for work.

Rhymetime sessions help babies learn to socialise, while for new mothers, it prevents isolation in the home.

For elderly people, visiting just to read the papers, or joining a book club, it’s a way of staving off loneliness.

It enables people from wildly diverse backgrounds, to share a space, and resources, and make connections – a library like Roath may be a gentle, quiet place, but it is the unseen glue that holds a community together.

No online resource or ebook that you access from home, can replace that.

Libraries were built from a promise of a better future – if you look, you will see the words “Free Libraries” carved in stone on this building. They are beautiful words! This building was made for the purpose of uplifting the hearts and minds of every single person who walks through that door.

It was on the news today – more children in the UK are discovering the pleasure in reading than they have done in years. Thanks to initiatives like BookStart, Summer Reading Challenge, and Young Readers Programme. It shows that the love is there, if we choose to engage.

This is not the time to be cutting back the services of public libraries, but to have the vision and foresight, to choose to give our children the freedom to learn, to think, and to discover. To actively choose to shape young lives for the better.

We are beginning our Save Roath Library campaign today. Thank you for your support!!