CILIP Ireland have written the following letter intended for all candidates standing for election to the Northern Ireland Assembly on March 2nd 2017.
In the upcoming Assembly election we call on you to pledge your support for Northern Ireland's fantastic libraries and the difference they make in our communities, schools and campuses.
Libraries and skilled librarians have a vital role to play supporting the Northern Ireland Executive to achieve its objectives from strengthening the economy to improving equality of opportunity, helping people live healthier lives and develop the skills they need for life, work and study.
Libraries are at the heart of our local communities, schools and campuses. They enjoy a level of trust as sources of knowledge, offering equal access in neutral and shared spaces. They foster and encourage a sense of community and open up new possibilities for community engagement and the sustainment of a vibrant society.
Local public libraries are building stronger communities by bringing people together and providing opportunities for all. They support the economy by developing essential literacy skills, providing access to research, helping people to study, find work and start up new businesses.
School libraries are unique in their ability to support teaching and learning. Poor literacy and numeracy skills stand in the way of children and young people achieving their potential. Well resourced school libraries are an integral part of building skills.
University libraries underpin world class research and innovation; and heritage libraries are the custodians of local archives and special collections, which are key resources in understanding our shared history and establishing and maintaining the cultural identity of communities.
We ask you to pledge your support to libraries by tweeting using the hashtag #librariescount.
We would be very happy to talk to you and tell you more about the exciting, innovative work going on across our libraries. Please do visit libraries in your constituency to find out more about the importance and relevance of libraries to voters.
CILIP, the library and information association, works to put library and information skills and professional values at the heart of a democratic, equal and prosperous information society. CILIP Ireland represents members of CILIP in Northern Ireland.
For further information please contact the CILIP Ireland Development Manager Gerardine Blee either by email firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone on 07837082566.