My social action: Saving our libraries

February 17, 2011
Rachel Rose Reid (centre)

Rachel Rose Reid (centre)

Moishe House co-founder Rachel Rose Reid is campaigning against the closure of libraries.

Why did you choose this cause?

Total closure is a short-sighted move. The council is willing to close six libraries in my borough, but no future local authority is likely to open six brand new libraries in the future, regardless of the economic climate. My family arrived here a hundred years ago and were undoubtedly amongst the beneficiaries of this system. I view it as my responsibility to defend them for the future.

Why does the action you do make a difference?

We don't know what difference our actions will make yet, as most councils are finalising their library closure decisions.

But doing nothing is the surest way of changing nothing. Contacting local MPs, taking part in council consultations is a good way to start.

What's been the best moment?

I guess we'll find this out when the decisions have all been made, but in the meantime, the best thing is that this threat has galvanised a host of community action and library appreciation that existed before, but was previously as quiet as the libraries themselves.

What's been the worst moment?

Poet Ian McMillan was banned from running a children's writing workshop at Upperthorpe Library by Sheffield City Council, for fear he might say something political about library closures. What a worrying sign of our fearful society. What happened to free speech? Find out more about her cause at

Last updated: 2:49pm, February 17 2011