Libraries Week takes place between the 8–13 October and celebrates our country’s fantastic libraries. In Ladywood, we’re lucky to have the largest public library in the UK. The Library of Birmingham provides an amazing, award winning space for local people and allows everyone in the city access to the internet, countless books and a relaxing environment to study or simply unwind. As Liberal Democrats we passionately believe in local communities and as such, we’ll always passionately support libraries, not just as places for books but for the wider services they provide communities across the country.
Recent research has also shown that libraries have far reaching benefits for the communities they serve, for example…
- Libraries save the NHS £30million per year by improving well-being – a saving like that pays for over 1,000 hardworking nurses!
- Reading for pleasure has been linked to a reduction in stress, the symptoms of depression and the risk of developing dementia in later life.
- Regular library use and attending community events, often hosted in libraries, can help individuals cope with loneliness.
Whilst Ladywood undoubtedly has one of the best Libraries in the country, it isn’t the most accessible and that means we’re not making the most of its potential benefits. Following it’s opening in 2013, the library went on to welcome over 2 million visitors in 2014, a huge boost to the city and it’s local economy. However, since then the library seen its full operational opening hours dramatically slashed and doesn’t open at all on Sundays. We believe that by making the library more accessible and by actively promoting the library as the exciting tourist attraction that it is, we could give tourism and the local economy in Birmingham a real boost. Opening on Sundays would be a good start.
Although we’d like to see it made more accessible, we have every reason to be hugely proud of our library in Ladywood, it provides an amazing service and we thank all the volunteers, employees and groups that make it so amazing.
Do you have thoughts about our library, or want to contact us about something else? Please don’t hesitate to get in touch!
Stephen and Lee
Ladywood Liberal Democrats
Research on the impact of libraries can be viewed here
Visit the Libraries week website here
Information on the Library of Birmingham can be found here