Schoolgirl asks David Cameron to save our libraries
A SCHOOLGIRL has asked the Prime Minister for a meeting. If you agree with her, sign her petition at www.firstnews.co.uk/saveourlibraries.
First News reader, Jessica Trueman, 9, wants to ask David Cameron what he’s going to do to stop libraries being closed down across the country.
In a letter to the Prime Minister, Jessica said: “I love my library and I am not letting you and the council shut it down. I am going to fight for our library! I would like a meeting with you to discuss our problem – whatever time you can do.”
But Jessica told First News that Mr Cameron was “too busy to help” and one of his people told her to try writing to one of his Government Ministers, Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt.
So Jessica wrote to Mr Hunt: “Books are special. You can read amazing stories and learn about history and different places in the world. I use two libraries to help me with my homework and both are being shut down. I hope you understand that you are making a big mistake. I won’t let this drop so please sort it out.”
Jessica wasn’t happy with the answer she got from Mr Hunt’s department either. They told her to write to her local council. At that, the determined schoolgirl decided to get in touch with her newspaper, First News.
When we said First News would take up her story she said: “At last! Someone’s listening.” She went on: “I am really angry about this. If libraries close, where can we go to get books? Not everyone can afford to go and buy them. No-one is listening to children’s views.”
Jessica said her next plan is to stage a “sleep-in” protest at her local library with her sister and friends so it couldn’t even close for the night, let alone for good.
Local councils have had their funding cut by the Government which means they don’t have as much money to spend on services. They say something has to go and libraries are being closed up and down the country.
A Government spokesperson told First News: “We agree that libraries are wonderful places. They help people to become better readers and can also keep them healthy and well. As well as books libraries also provide other things such as internet access, and libraries are great places for families to go to together to hear stories, choose books or join in Rhymetimes.
“Local councils, who provide library services, must make sure that the services they provide are designed around the needs of the people in the community. This doesn’t mean that local councils cannot close libraries. But it is very important that each council understands what people who live in their area want and need. The Secretary of State, Jeremy Hunt, is carefully considering councils’ plans for their library services in England and will then decide whether he needs to take any action.”
Jessica has collected signatures from 80 children in her school saying: “We do not want our libraries to close.” She wants children all over the UK to give the Government the same message “so that they have to listen”.