On Thursday the 23rd of June 2016 Brierfield library was full of excitement and anticipation as the children from Pendle Primary Academy flooded into the library, accompanied by their parents and teachers, all thinking the same collective thought: Save Our Library!
On Friday the 6th of May Brierfield received the devastating news that their beloved library was being threatened with possible closure by their own council. The children, parents and staff of Pendle Primary Academy were not taking this news lying down and soon teamed up with In-Situ who had organised a public meeting to discuss what concerned members of the community could do to save the library and protest about its proposed closure. Pendle Primary Academy decided to stage a protest – a sit in in the library - and they did just that! At 11 o’clock precisely the library opened its doors to the school and its many costumed children, ranging from princesses to pirates (even Darth Vader showed his support!). They quickly settled at their home away from home and started creating posters, reading their favourite books and even some form filling for the adults which might have seemed a lot less exciting but certainly helps the cause. So many children showed up to support their library the many tables the library provides were soon too full for all the children! The adults therefore needed to watch their step to make sure they didn’t step on a child who was busy reading! Eventually, armed with posters and determined faces, the children lined up outside the library to take photos and show not only passers-by but also the council themselves that they will not let their library be taken without a fight!
Brierfield’s new local radio man, In-Situ artist in residence Helmut Lemke, was also there, representing In-Situ in their support of the protest. Helmut interviewed and recorded the youngsters, their parents and even the formers mayor’s opinions on the idea of closure, all of which were heartbroken at the idea of it.
The parents clearly expressed their emotions with many telling the radio of all the brilliant events the library holds, their children’s excitement at the idea of going to the library and their anger at the Government for wanting to rip that away from the children of Brierfield.
The teachers from Pendle Primary Academy praised the library as the only place, aside from the school’s small library, that the children can explore reading and also do their homework projects, especially since many cannot travel to Burnley or Nelson’s library’s. They told Helmut that every single student from the school is a member of the library and they love it dearly because it helps ‘everyone’ from all ages. Why would you want this taken away from your children?
The ex-mayor of Brierfield also came to support the children and said he strongly believes the library can and should remain open and that the cuts are not right and should not be happening, especially not to this important Brierfield resource.
Finally, the children had the last say and expressed their love for the library by telling stories of their own experiences with the library from reading and meeting up with friends and family to just having fun! One girl told the story of her grandmother coming to the library and that, by taking away the library, you are taking away a big chunk of not only her own future but the past of Brierfield as well. Now if that doesn’t sum up the importance of the library, what does?
And sign the petition: https://www.snapsurveys.com/wh/s.asp?k=146339536029
All photos provided by: http://www.pendleprimaryacademy.co.uk/
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Written by: Megan Chapman