Monday 26 May 2014

The National Public Libraries Festival

Hello Again, 
Right now we're at difficult juncture, a crucial point in Library Camp's journey. We've had encouragement from all sides that the idea of a festival celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Public Libraries and Museums Act is a sound, even brilliant, idea. We are struggling to raise raise the necessary funds. Scratch that: we're not struggling, we have failed to raise a bean. No doubt this is because we don't exactly have a proven track record for this sort of thing. We know that organising a free to attend unconference for libraries can't be compared to running a nationally significant event with politically sensitive connotations. 
It's those political connotations that are concerning us. Are they responsible for even a fraction of the reason this milestone event in the history of the Public Libraries seems to be ignored? Is the Act so tarnished by politics it has become a no-mans-land, across which neither the left or the right dare venture, fearing accusations of ignoring the public library's present situation. 
To stage an event recognising the influence of Public Libraries over the past half century or so is an audacious, arrogant act. If that's the case then why are a couple of public librarians the only actors? 
Our Crowdfunder campaign will go live within the next week asking for a quite staggering £20,000. We are well aware of the enormity of the challenge in, and the likelihood of, raising that amount. We think that to produce an event worthy of it's heritage, will cost that much. 

1 comment:

  1. Apologies if you've already considered this and made contact, however there are a number of high profile and influential folks who would support and promote this venture. People such as Neil Gaiman, Chris Addison, Terry Pratchett and Stephen Fry would no doubt willingly help spread the word. You'd need a solid business and event plan before approaching them however.

    What are you prosing as part of this event? A literary festival? A conference? A party? All of the above? If you want the public to donate, they need to know exactly what their funds will be used for. They need a reason beyond a theme. It may be worth getting some advice from other festival organisers with experience, because this is a great idea, but to be a success, it needs executing properly, carefully and beyond the dreaded e*ho ch*mber.