Many of you will know that the UNISON conference was held at the end of June. Hundreds of people descended on Manchester for a week of debate and policy-making, which will form the basis of the union’s activities for the next year.
So on Sunday afternoon at the local government conference, motion 13 ‘defend our libraries and library workers’ was passed. In the debate people spoke passionately about campaigns happening in their areas to protect and defend services and preserve them for future generations.
Motion 13 commits UNISON to continuing our long-running Love Your Libraries campaign to defend local libraries and staff from the cuts and closures. This clearly spells out the UNISON position on library services – they are an invaluable resource for communities which should be publicly provided, properly funded and staffed, and freely available to all.
On Monday there was a libraries exhibition at the UNIZONE part of conference, which aims to give members and branches an opportunity to get information and advice, as well as share stories about what is happening in their areas. As well as distributing the new libraries campaign pack for branches, delegates were also asked to fill in a survey about the situation in their areas and to let us know why they love their local library. The vast majority of comments made concerned issues of community, equal access, civilisation and education for all. So although the heart-shaped post it notes may have seemed a little flippant, there were some very powerful and positive statements made!
Off the back of this over the next few months we will be looking to step up the UNISON Love Your Libraries campaign, particularly in terms of support for branches in resisting cuts and closures and an increased media presence highlighting workforce issues and the impact on community access to services. UNISON is committed to continuing to work with a wide range of groups, including Voices for the Library, as part of this.
For more information on the UNISON Love Your Libraries campaign, please contact Hannah Bailey firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the UNISON website – http://www.unison.org.uk/localgov/loveyourlibraries.asp
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