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Closing the libraries

andreascultureblog:

Extremely well considered blog post on the heartbreaking decisions ahead for our wonderful libraries

Originally posted on a sense of place:

Well the news is in and the news isn’t good. On 15th August a proposal will go to the meeting of Liverpool City Council in the Town Hall to close eleven of our nineteen libraries.

Liverpool Central Library

Liverpool Central Library

Before I list those threatened and those to stay, a bit of context from when I attended one of the public consultation events back in May. I wrote then:

“Liverpool gets 76% of its funding from Central Government. And they’re going to cut this by half by 2016/17.

Therefore the City Council has been forced to decide to cut its mandatory services, including libraries, by 25%. And its discretionary services, like sports and culture, by 50%. In the case of libraries this will mean an annual budget of £10m being reduced by £2.5m.

The Council has been running a survey (which I’ve written about before) to gather facts and opinions about…

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Walking in the Footsteps of Giants: Being a Lilliputian – Paul’s story

Paul getting ready to swing off the platform

Paul getting ready to swing off the platform

Fresh from swinging off platforms for the three days of the Giant Spectacular as part of the Memories of August 2014 celebrations, our very own Lilliputian Paul Brown told us about his experience

Q – Hi Paul, so tell us what’s your day job?
I’m a Prevention/Assessment Homeless Officer for Housing Options Service in Liverpool City Council

Q –  How did you get to be involved in this year’s Giant Spectacular?
Following the initial advert made public, I formally applied to be a Volunteer Lilliputian

Q – What role did you play in the Giant’s event?
I was a Lilliputian on the Grandmother Giant, receiving specific intensive training into “walking” the Grandmother during the show.

Q – So what was the experience like for you?
It was an awesome experience that will stay long in the memory.  Doing something I really enjoyed with a group of wonderful people in my own city!

Q – Were there any challenges/tough bits?
Learning the specifics of my new role & executing it correctly, irrespective how tired, hot or exhausted I might become!

Q – Was there a particular highlight for you?
Walking out of the main doors onto St George’s plateau on Friday morning and seeing a sea of excited faces.  It was very special moment for everyone.

Q – How are you feeling now it’s all over?
I’m very proud to have had the opportunity to have been involved in such a spectacular event. It was an awesome experience that I will cherish & reflect on for many years to come!

Walking in the Footsteps of Giants: Andy’s story

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESQ – So Andy, first of all what’s your day job? 
I’m a retired/redundant librarian and for the last 2 years or so I’ve been looking for interesting things to do.
 
Q – How did you get to be involved in this year’s Giant Spectacular?
I was involved when the Giants came last time. I really enjoyed it and when I heard they were coming again I put my name down as soon as I could.
 
Q – What role did you play in the Giant’s event?
I was a Benevol which means a volunteer. Our main role was to carry red & white tape to keep the crowds safely on the pavements when there weren’t any crash barriers on the route.
 
Q – So what was the experience like for you?
It was brilliant to be part of a major event in a city I’ve lived near all my life. It was lovely been close to the crowd as we walked through. I was able to feel the buzz and excitement of the city. It was clear this event was bringing communities together. I especially liked it when it went through areas such as Toxteth, Kensington and Wavertree when local people came out of their houses to watch the event. Also being in the middle of the huge crowds when we were near the Pier Head was exciting and it felt a real privilege to be there.
 
Q – Were there any challenges/tough bits?
I had to keep my wits about me when we were on the move. This is because the gaps between the puppets were always changing which meant you had to keep an eye on the person in front and behind so that the line could be maintained. Often the tape we were holding would snap which meant a new one had to be found to repair the gap.
 
Q – Was there a particular highlight for you?
When the puppets stopped we had to crouch down so not to be in the way of the spectators. This allowed for really good views of the action close up. We were allowed to take photos n and I was able to take some I was really pleased with. I also loved watching the puppets waking up in Newsham Park. My favourite parts of this was watching Xolo steal one the Little Girl Giant’s socks as she was getting dressed and watching grannie have a slug of whisky and a smoke of her pipe for breakfast!
 
Q – How are you feeling now it’s all over?
I’m feeling tired and really grateful to be in a position where I could spend 3 memorable days walking with Giants. I’m also wondering if they will come back again.
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