Our libraries are the hearts of our communities…. how many times did we hear that said last year? It was often followed with, ‘And the librarians are the heart of the libraries.’
How sad that the Citywide Libraries Action Group and the 20 000 names on the citywide petitions did not convince the council of the true value of our marvellous librarians. The proposed cut of over 50% of our librarians comes on top of previous years cuts and will have long lasting, adverse affects on literacy levels, social mobility, elderly isolation etc etc etc. The Citywide Libraries Group has never turned its back on the fact that cuts have to be made. We understand the reality of the hard times facing Wolverhampton. However, past and present proposals to cut the library service have never recognised its true nature. The poem below was written last year as a heartfelt tribute to one of our branch librarians who was ‘deleted’ (along with others) in the last round of cuts. All the comments below were made by library users who were absolutely devastated to see her go. Even today a library user commented, ‘I just cannot believe she’s gone. How can Wolverhampton council even think of removing such a valuable asset?’ The Citywide Action Group wishes all our librarians to know how much we appreciate their qualities. The poem says it all….
Friend, teacher, learning guide,
Opening the door of knowledge wide.
Riddler, quizzer, lover of jokes,
A smiling face for so many folks.
Question-answerer, health advisor, cheerer upper,
Listener, laugher, you-pick-me-upper.
Anti-depressant, friend to the old,
Her smile warms you up when you’re feeling cold.
Always on hand like a kindly thought,
She’s a game-player, a jolly good sort.
Giggler, smirker, smiler, carer,
Computer advisor, information-sharer.
The story-lady, magician, rhymester, singer,
Poet, reader, knowledge bringer.
Spellbinder, interpreter, entertainer,
Advocate, enlightener, true enabler.
She shows us how to surf the net,
She knows our names and doesn’t forget.
More than the sum of all her parts,
She’ll remain in our thoughts and in our hearts.
A rich legacy she leaves behind.
A love of books she has enshrined.
The heart of our library she’s known as round here,
For our librarian let’s raise a cheer.
For her years of service and dedication,
We humbly give this oration.
XXXXX this library book’s overdue,
It’s title…. ‘Many Thanks’ – just for you.