Activists warn against “book poverty” as Britain celebrates World Book Day

Activists warn against “book poverty” as Britain celebrates World Book Day

Tom Watson, vice chairman of the Labor Party, condemns the overthrow of library lending as a “scandal” as organizers encourage parents and children to use the free bookmark

As children across the UK disguise themselves as Don Matilda and Harry Potter to celebrate World Book Day, shadow secretary Tom Watson condemned the “scandal” the number of books came from. Public libraries in England have fallen by nearly 100 million since 2011 ,

The Laboratory commissioned study shows that the number of library books has dropped from 255,128,957 in 2011 to 157,387,109 in 2018, a decrease of 38%. From the data released by the Collegiate Institute of Public Finance and Accounting (Cipfa), which had already revealed in 2018 that 127 public libraries were closed in England, Wales and Scotland, the new study found that the Northeast’s largest decline was book lending , 49% less.

The decline has been linked to widespread library closures and downsizing: Essex has allocated more than a third of its 74 libraries to closure, while Bradford libraries will need to cut two million pounds in the next two years, Cipfa said in December “The library service lost 712 full-time employees last year, while the number of volunteers rose by 3,000.

“It’s a scandal that nearly 100 million fewer books are borrowed from our public libraries.” Council budgets were cut by Tory’s austerity policy, and our library services pay the price, Watson said.

Laura Swaffield, president of the Library Campaign, said with more than 700 libraries lost since 2010, “the only surprise is that the decline in loans is not even greater.”

“Research shows that reading is valued as a pleasure, as an escape from stress and as a means of empathizing with other people, God knows we need them more than ever before,” said Swaffield most important factor for children to succeed in education, it just shows how stupid and ultimately wasteful it is austerity. “

Watson, Labor’s deputy chairman, noted that on March 7, children celebrated World Book Day, “a great opportunity to celebrate how reading opens new worlds for children and adults.” “Everyone should have access to books and enjoy reading,” Watson said. “The government must urgently rethink and put an end to these meaningless cuts.”

Nick Poole, executive director of Cilip, the library and the information society, said there was a direct correlation between the quality of the book and the frequency with which it was lent: “Far from reducing the demand for books The numbers show That if you lower the library budget, reduce reading and all the positive benefits that result, these cuts often point to poorer communities where people can not afford books. Britain itself is in danger of becoming a nation of libraries that they have and do not have. “

Over 90% of libraries in the UK participate in World Book Day through a partnership with the Reading Agency. The celebration will distribute more than 15 million bookmarks to children in the UK and Ireland. The organizers said “book poverty” is “a very real problem” for children, and one in eight underprivileged children in the UK does not own a single book. In 2016, for every third child who received free school meals, the book they received with their £ 1 WBD was the first ever.

According to the OECD, reading for pleasure is the most important indicator of a child’s future success, not family circumstances or the level of education or income of parents.

Earlier this week, WBD published a study by the National Literacy Trust, which found that only a quarter of children aged 8 to 18 read daily, compared to 43% in 2015. They read the stamps in the Book of Charity. Give children the opportunity to receive a free edition of one of the 13 World Book Day titles, or £ 1 or € 1.50 discount in a full price book. Through the Share-to-Story live tour, the charity also brings writers and illustrators to low-literacy communities such as Dundee, Bradford, Swindon and Manchester.

Cressida Cowell, author of How to Train Your Dragon participating in the tour, encouraged parents and children to use the WBD brand: I’m glad … parents, grandparents, caregivers, teachers can help read children, who have passed the age in which they can read themselves before. Ten minutes a day really make a difference. “