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Celebrate World Book Day 2011 by Visiting Your Local Library

Thursday 3rd March 2011

World Book Day 2011 in the UK and Ireland takes place today, Thursday 3rd March. It is now so well established in schools in the UK the Day now happens in term time to celebratebooks and reading. World Book Day is a partnership of publishers, booksellers and interested parties who work together to promote books and reading for the personal enrichment and enjoyment of all. Children and pupils in schools all over the UK are celebrating World Book Day by dressing up as famous characters from classics novels such as Alice in Wonderland, Oliver Twist, Little Red Riding Hood, Peter Pan, or Harry Potter.

The main aim of World Book Day in the UK and Ireland is to encourage children to explore the pleasures of books, and reading, by providing them with the opportunity to have a book of their own, and local libraries should be a focal point of the celebrations, especially right now as they are under the threat of closure by county councils.

All around the UK local councils are suffering from budget cuts and many, such as North Yorkshire County Council, are considering closing down a significant percentage of their public libraries. The council seeks to cut 28% from the library budget and the easiest way to do this is to close 52% of the libraries. As World Book Day is celebrated in the UK today, libraries are fighting to prove that they offer essential services to local people in more rural areas who are unable to reach central town libraries regularly.

The only factor the council is using in its closure decisions is total number of physical visits to each library. However this figure does not indicate a library’s success. Libraries in built-up areas such as Harrogate and Scarborough are obviously going to have more visits than those in isolated rural areas. But many of the more isolated libraries have seen an increased in percentage in use year-on-year. The council is planning to cut a successful library service and close successful branch libraries based on their physical location which is not necessarily an indicator of their popularity and usefulness to local communities.

So, celebrate World Book Day today and settle down to enjoy a good book by visiting your nearest library and help support the campaign.


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