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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Library protesters declare day of action (UK)

A "carnival of resistance" to library closures will take place on 5 February 2011, with over forty library "read-ins" scheduled in a coordinated protest over the threatened closures. Local events are being organised from Hounslow, Brixton and Lewisham, to Somerset, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Doncaster and Oxfordshire, with many writers – including Philip Pullman, Mary Hoffman, Malcolm Rose and Carole Matthews – due to take part. Author Alan Gibbons, who has been a leading voice in the library protests, said the read-ins were a "carnival of resistance to closures", and that the government was "feeling the heat", with even former Tory lead Iain Duncan Smith's think tank, the Centre for Social Justice, voicing concerns that badly planned cuts could lead to services being sacrificed unnecessarily. Gibbons promised a celebration of reading complete with balloons, storytelling and music. "The public love and celebrate their libraries," he said. "Isn't it time the government turned its back on its destructive and disproportionate closure programme and did the same?"

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