Gruffalo author Julia Donaldson on library closures

  • 27 September 2012
Media playback is unsupported on your device
Julia Donaldson talks to Nel about library closures

Children's Laureate and Gruffalo author Julia Donaldson has spoken to Newsround about her worry over library closures.

She told Nel: "Libraries are really the very best place to discover what books you like. You can borrow them for free.

"But in those areas without libraries, where are those children going to read? Because so many bookshops have closed."

Around 60 libraries have shut in the last year and hundreds more are facing closure.

Councils say they can't afford to run them anymore.

Julia Donaldson's so concerned she's written to the government about the issue.

She said: "It's up to the government to take notice. They sound like a Dalek. They keep saying, 'We are monitoring the situation'."

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey told Newsround: "If we are worried that a council is going to close too many libraries, we do have the power to have a look at what the council's doing and perhaps suggest some changes.

"What I can assure people is that the government does look at all these proposals."

We asked you what you thought of this and here are some of your comments:

Your comments

"I love books, it is very sad to hear this!"

Jo, Hampshire, England

"If my library shut down I don't know where I would go for books."

Lewis, Scotland

"I go to the library to use the computers as we do not have the internet at home. I sometimes do my homework there with my sister. I borrow books and DVDs. During the summer we join the book trail to read books and win prizes."

Adam, London, England

"I think the library is an important place because where will all the children from primary school get their first reading book from?"

Joshua, Kent, England

"I have an excellent secondary school library which I use every day but people don't appreciate the importance of local libraries in the community. My school library is a huge, well stocked library, but it still cannot offer me what a public library can. I miss having a qualified librarian that the community can get to know."

Amber, London, England

"Libraries are really important to children and teenagers. I use my library constantly and love to read. I have a huge school library but there is lots more variety in a public library."

Poppy, London, England

"Libraries are the best. Most people don't know that books came before computers. You can do more stuff than just read at libraries. You can take loads of books out and enjoy reading them."

Mrs Hamilton's Class, Birmingham, England

"Our Library closed last year. We tried to object and wrote letters but nobody listened to us. We miss it a lot and wish it was still open. It had a fantastic selection of books and everyone in our class used it."

Primary4 St. John's PS, County Tyrone, Ireland

"We love visiting our local library in Cippenham and reading the books there. Our class loves to read :) "

Class 5, Berkshire, England

"I love my local libraries because I love science books. But I don't have any books so I just walk to my local libraries. I would hate it if it was not there."

Samantha, Scotland

"I think that the government shouldn't close our libraries because we need books and my local library is just being refurbished so it's got a lot of new books. Please, please DON'T shut our libraries!!!"

Lowri, Swansea, Wales

"If our local library shut down we wouldn't have anywhere to get books, and we would stay in and play computer games instead and that's not good."

Mr Norbury's class, Swansea, Wales

"I LOVE Chilton Library!!! The books fill our minds with education and adventure. Do the government really want to deprive us of that?"

Bethany, Durham, England

"As I'm home-schooled, my local library is a great place for resources and we go there all the time."

Emily, Essex, England

"My library is new and it is only a 10-minute walk away. It has got computers, a Wii, toys... it's a great place to hang out with your friends."

Freya, Edinburgh, Scotland

"I love my local library and during the summer I took part in the Reading Challenge and got a gold medal!"

Emily, London, England

"I love reading but now my local library is closing. I'm quite upset about it as now I can't go there on my way to school."

Charlotte, Yorkshire, England

"I am not that bothered if they close our local library because at my new secondary school you can borrow books. They have a fantastic range of books."

Reece, Leicester, England

"My local library is shutting down to be an McDonald's. This is not good, we need books for many things, we don't need so much fast food."

Bella, Manchester, England

"I love our local library. I don't know what I'd do without it especially because the other library closest to our little village is a 20-minute bus ride away!"

Lowrie, Coventry, England

"I enjoy the library because it inspires me to write my own books and I really like reading."

Emily, Taunton, England

"I love my library, it is a great way for me to find out about new books and see if I like them."

Martha, Plymouth, England