Next month will see the first protest march against the closure of Essex libraries and will be the first ever march in Galleywood’s history.
The community will assemble outside St Micheal’s Junior School in Barnard Road at 10am on Thursday 9th May, the march will be led by Galleywood residents and a teacher at the school.
Hundreds are expected to take part, with children joining their families marching through the village to rally outside the threatened library.
Organiser and St Michael’s Junior School teacher Kirstie Orton said: “Galleywood Library is at the very heart of our community; it is a place for young and old to meet and interact safely sharing a common interest.”
“With the negative impact of excessive screen time increasingly documented in the media, we have a duty to inspire a love of reading for pleasure which will hopefully compete with the lure of technology.
“Taking away our local library, which we have worked so hard to develop a meaningful link with over the years, is sending all the wrong messages to our children. Making the decision to remove such a resource to save money is short-sighted.”
“I believe that the long term impact of such a decision will be vast. Our library is so much more than just a building with books in. It is a place where imaginations are stretched, eyes are opened and a life-long love of reading is potentially born.”
Another organiser, Galleywood resident Maureen Patten added: “Essex can be proud of the authors, journalists, painters, teachers, scientists and judges it has produced over the years but what of the future, when Essex County Council want to close up to 44 libraries to save money? This will be a short term gain at long term cost.”
“Our protest is to support and give voice across the generations. It is particularly noticeable that the hardest hit are children and older people. It’s for all of Galleywood and residents from across Chelmsford to join us and say these cuts are wrong.”
“Many older people are already battling against loneliness and their disabilities restrict them from getting to another library miles away.
“Stop these ridiculous closures and please support the young and old alike. What happened to investing in children and caring about older people?”
“Libraries are a part of our tradition and culture”, continued another Galleywood resident and fellow organiser Margaret Shea.
“Almost every book I read comes from, or through, Galleywood Library. Our village will be a much poorer place if it is closed by the council.”
Sylvia Galbert, a Galleywood resident in her eighties, said “My visit to the Library is the highlight of my week.”
On June 8, Chelmsford will host a ‘Carnival for libraries’ demonstration at the Saracen’s Head at 12pm, campaigners will march to County Hall.