We are getting as mad as hell about library closures in Somerset and we are not going to take it anymore
Thursday, January 20th, 2011
Just completed a very long three day shoot with fellow film-makers Garfield Kennedy and Ken Kutsch to produce a campaign film challenging the proposed library closures. Seventy members of the public in Glastonbury and Shepton Mallet turned up at our temporary studio to speak passionately and eloquently about their love of libraries.
A chartered Librarian, a homeless traveller, a single Mum in tears with her three young book-loving children, a Polish refugee, a local historian, town and county councillors and book lovers of all ages. A day in London in between our local shoots. Interviewing Kate Mosse, Jon Snow, Julian Fellowes, John Bird and our local MP Tessa Munt. In and out of cabs and tubes all day. ITV filming us making the film at the Royal Court Theatre (which was a bit surreal), Jon Snow at Channel 4 taking time out of his editorial meetings to share his passion for libraries with us. Over to the Royal Society of Literature and squeezing into a very crowded meeting room. A young aide rushing in with cups of tea for everyone whispering to us ‘Oh my God, I have never seen so many famous authors in the same room before’. We interviewed Colin Thubron, Maggie Gee, David Harsent, Maureen Duffy, Maggie Fergusson and the wonderful Anne Chisholm.
John Bird (founder of The Big Issue) spoke movingly about learning to read in prison and how important public libraries were to him when he was homeless and wanted to study. We received a personal letter of support from Sir David Attenborough ‘I owe my career to the books I borrowed from my local library in Leicester as much as I do to the animals, plants and fossils of the Leicestershire countryside’ and last night Alan Bennett rang us at home with a brilliant quote for the film. ‘I’m afraid my quote is a bit short’ he said in his lovely soft Yorkshire voice ‘but I do hope you can use it: Closing Libraries is Child Abuse’. Watch this space……we are planning something special for the launch. The four of us (including our brilliant BBC editor Martin Wells) are making this film for free because we love and use our local libraries and we will do everything in our creative power to protect the vulnerable in our communities and prevent a bunch of here today, gone tomorrow, county councillors from conducting such an appalling act of cultural vandalism.