Celebrating why libraries matter – surely something that is dear to IAML (UK&Irl)!
National Libraries Day is a day of events and activities promoting the difference that modern libraries make to people, families and communities across the UK.
Looking at the 603 events listed on the events map, I spotted some music events – among the huge variety of events which are taking place this Saturday –
- An evening of song at Brighouse Library
- A celebration of David Bowie at Brixton Library
- A cockney sing-a-long at the Barbican Music Library
- The Life & Times of the Music Hall and Marie Lloyd in Tower Hamlets
- Bumper Bookbug Session followed by Musical Craft Activity at Greenock Library
… to highlight just a few.
It’s not too late to add your events to the Events Map!
Here are some figures that may surprise you –
- 2013-14 saw over 280 million visits to public libraries in the UK
- Going to the library is one of the most popular activities in the UK
- More people went to the library than to Premier League football matches (13.9 million)
- More people went to the library than to the theatre (22 million)
- More people went to the library than to the cinema (165.5 million)
- More people went to a public library than the combined number going to a Premier football match, the theatre and the cinema (combined total 201.4 million)(1)
This is a staggering figure, one that everyone who works in a library should be proud of, and a figure that should be cited every time one hears stories about library closures and general decline. We all know times are tough, but the services libraries provide are more vital and wide-ranging than ever before.
Music is part of what public libraries can offer society today – it is a sociable activity, music communicates across social and cultural barriers, music improves health and wellbeing, it is a means of expression beyond words – it can be part of the priorities of libraries today.
National Libraries Day is a chance to celebrate this.
Frances Allott, Kent Libraries
Figures quoted in the National Libraries Day PR Toolkit http://www.nationallibrariesday.org.uk/downloads/local-pr-toolkit-for-libraries/