Last year I held two art competitions for Swindon Libraries: Design a Doughnut and the When I Grow Up art comp. We received hundreds of amazing entries from across the borough. This summer I'm launching a brand new creative competition with Swindon Libraries - Design Mr Panda's Hat! 15 winners will receive a signed book (and possibly some extra bonus goodies!) and the overall winner will receive a class visit from yours truly.
How will you design Mr Panda's hat? Patterned? Full of doughnuts? Stickers? Pick up an entry form at your local library from this Saturday the 21st of July! This art comp is for Swindon Borough only. You can pick up a competition sheet from any one of Swindon Borough's 15 Libraries. Deadline: Sept 9th. I can't wait to see all the entries!
I sometimes hear people say things like 'Libraries are the beating hearts of our communities.' but does our UK government fully understand just how true this is?
Can our government really justify the closure of literally hundreds of libraries across the UK? The Borough of Swindon, in which I live, is shockingly set to lose 10 of its 15.
The Bookseller Magazine has been closely covering this national crisis and have kindly published my open letter to Swindon Council, which you can read here: http://www.thebookseller.com/blogs/open-letter-swindon-council-446346
To find out more on the ongoing campaign to save Swindon Libraries please follow Save Swindon Libraries. Thanks to the campaign, the total number of libraries to be retained has increased from one to five. What the campaign has managed to achieve so far is an absolute inspiration.
We all have the right to a quality library service and to be heard. It's not just my Borough. Visit My Library By Right for more on the nationwide campaign.
I've personally emailed each and every Swindon Councillor to direct them to my open letter and would like to add that those who've responded are very much in favour of saving our libraries - as with almost everything, it boils down to money. I am hopeful a way will be found to keep as many of our libraries open as possible.