Saturday, 26 November 2011

Save our Libraries campaigners give two cheers after council debate

The "Save our Libraries in Wokingham" campaign is not sure whether to celebrate or not after the Conservatives agreed to revisit their decision to outsource the Borough's libraries the private sector.

Rachelle Shepherd-DuBey, who spoke for the campaign at the council meeting which discussed the petition opposing privatisation, said "We were right to be worried about the future of the libraries, because the only example of a council which has handed their library service over to the private sector is turning out to be a disaster. Eight out of 11 libraries there are threatened with closure. That's not what we want in Wokingham."

Anthony Vick, co-founder of the petition, who also spoke at the meeting, said "By getting so many signatures on the petition, we forced the Council to hold a debate. I am pleased that the outcome of that debate was that councillors will be reviewing their decision on libraries, a decision which was made, without any consultation, immediately after the local elections last May. But during the debate it became very clear that the Conservatives were more interested in calling us scaremongerers than in addressing our fears. They must think through the impact their decision would have on libraries, librarians, library services and residents. Libraries are such an important part of our communities. The council must get this right."

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Today's The Day Of The BIG Council Debate

A BIG thank you to everyone who signed our petition. In the end we managed to get 2,374 signatures.  It was handed in to the council in September by Anthony Vick, Rachelle Shepherd-DuBey and Prue Bray.

The large number of signatures was easily enough to pass the threshold for getting the petition debated at a meeting of the whole council.   This is the first time that a petition has had enough signatures to force such a debate in Wokingham.

The debate is taking place on THURSDAY 17th NOVEMBER at 7.30 pm during the Council meeting at the the Wokingham Borough Council offices in Shute End, Wokingham.   We hope that as many of the people who signed the petition will come as possible to see what the outcome is.

Rachelle, Anthony and Prue will be at the Council offices from 7 pm to greet people and to explain what will happen in the meeting.  But if you would like to know more beforehand, please get in touch by emailing the Save our Libraries in Wokingham campaign at

In the meantime you can read press coverage about the campaign on the getWokingham website:

Thank you once again for your support.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Petition Handed In To Wokingham Council

Last night, Thursday 22nd, we handed in our 2,374 strong petition opposing the privatisation of Wokingham's libraries. 

Because the petition is over 1,500 signatures, according to the Council's own constitution, it should trigger a debate on the privatisation of our libraries at the next Council meeting (November 17th).

We'd like to thank everyone who signed and helped collect signatures. 

The next stage of our campaign will be more difficult. We now need to convince councillors to support us in the debate and oppose privatisation. You can help by telling them how you feel. Write to them at or find them on Wokingham Council's website at .

Saturday, 3 September 2011

We're now on Facebook

We thought it was time we branched out on to Facebook .

Our page, Save Our Libraries In Wokingham, can be accessed on 

( Once we have 25 Likes for the page we'll be able to ask for a better link ).

It's amazing how many people are still unaware of the Council's plans to to privatise our library service, please help us let them know by showing your support on Facebook.

Once again, the page is .

Thanks for your support, and if you haven't already please sign either our on-line or paper petition.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Upcoming Petition Signing Events

We have two upcoming petition signing events:

Thursday, 18th August, at Lower Earley Library between 1.00pm and 2.30pm .


Saturday, 20th August, at Wokingham Library and Town Centre between 10.00am and 12.00pm(noon).

Please come along and help out, or sign the petition if you haven't already, or if you can't make it, then why not sign the on-line petition? Just click the "Sign Our Petition" logo to the left and it'll take you there.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Over 800 Signatures and Counting

Thank you to everyone who signed our petition during our signing event outside Finchamptead library yesterday.

We have now collected over 800 signatures - on-line and paper based petitions combined - and fully expect to reach our 1500 signature target soon. 

If you haven't already signed our petition please sign it now ( the link to the online petition is on the top left of this page ). We need 1500 signatures to force a full council debate on the privatisation of our libraries.

If you'd like to collect signatures on our behalf please get in touch with us at and we can send you a petition collection form.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

We have a new web address...
Spread the word, tell your friends, colleagues, family and acquaintances, if they want to stop the privatisation of Wokingham's libraries then get online and sign our petition at:

And, to celebrate our new web address, we're produced another "Save Our Libraries" poster with the web address given on it. You can view and print in from here. Why not print it out and put it somewhere it will be seen?

Thursday, 28 July 2011

New Events Calendar

We've added this online calendar to the website so you can keep up to date with all our petition signing events and maybe come along to sign the petition or help out.

Click here for a bigger, easier to use calendar. 

If you want to access it quickly again in the future, just click on the "Events Calendar" from the menu bar at the top of the website.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Why Not Print A Poster To Support Our Campaign?

Phil Bradley has created a wonderful set of "Save Our Library" posters for the national campaigns against local councils looking to close libraries. 

The posters are based on old war posters and are simply fantastic. Phil's Flickr website, where you can see and download the posters can be access here:

For a bit of fun, I've ameneded one for the Wokingham campaign (left), you can access it and download it here:

This is amended and published under the Creative Commons Licence here:


Another Successful Day Collecting Signatures

Despite the rain, we had yet another successful day collecting signatures outside Lower Earley Library today. Thank you to everyone who turned out and signed our petition. We are getting lots and lots of signatures.

Please spread the word, and ask your family and friends to sign our on-line petition, or maybe come along and help us at our next event? or, maybe, even organise your own petition signing event? 

You can get in touch using

Friday, 15 July 2011

Petition Signing Session Tomorrow at Lower Earley's Library

Please come along and sign our petition tomorrow, 16th July, at Lower Earley library from 10am until noon.

Can't make it? then why not sign the on-line version? Just click the "Sign Our Petition" logo to the left and it'll take you there.


Wokingham on Saturday July 9th saw another very well supported petition signing session . Library users, shoppers and local residents were keen to sign the petition to show support for the Save our Libraries campaign.

The next petition signing session will be at Lower Earley Library on Saturday July 16th from 10am until Noon. If you are in the area, please do come along .

Tuesday, 12 July 2011


Another very successful signing session was held at Lower Earley library on Thursday July 7th. Library users and people passing through the precinct were queueing up to sign our petition. They were keen to show their support for the campaign to Save our Libraries.

Further signing sessions have been scheduled for Wokingham library on Saturday July 9th from 10.30am until 12.30pm and then the following Saturday at Lower Earley library from 10am until noon. Please do come along if you can.

What's the definition of Privatization?

Wokingham Borough Council have put our library service out to tender in a effort to save £170k a year, but seems unhappy with the project being labelled as "privatisation" of our libraries, perhaps these definitions of privatisation may help to resolve the confusion:

privatize, privatise - change from governmental to private control or ownership. "The oil industry was privatized"

privatisation - The process of moving from a government controlled system to a privately run, for-profit system. 

privatization The transfer of a company or organization from government to private ownership and control. []

Sunday, 3 July 2011

News Update: The Express newspaper reports LSSI expects to take-over Wokingham's libraries

In a recent article the Express newspaper discusses whether we're in danger of an American takeover of our libraries, whether cost is more important than culture, and what it may mean for our beloved local libraries. Read more here.

Interestingly the article would seem to inidcate that LSSI (Library Systems and Services) is the most likely candidate to take over Wokingham's library service.
"LSSI has spoken to “dozens of local authorities” over the past three years and held meetings with five councils last week, with Croydon becoming the latest borough to consider a deal. LSSI’s first contract is expected to start next May in Wokingham."

We'll post more infomation as soon as we have it.

Why libraries should remain in the public domain

Here's a video from, an American group opposing privatisation in the states, we think it summaries why libraries should remain in the public domain quite nicely.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

More petition signatures and signing sessions

The campaign launch in Woodley has been followed by a session collecting signatures in Twyford. Excellent turnout from the campaign, and from local people, who were keen to sign. Got lots of thumbs ups from people driving by who saw our Save our Libraries signs.

Coming up: this Saturday, 25th June, we will be collected signatures in Wargrave between 11.30 and 12.30 pm. If you are around, come and join in!

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Great campaign launch in Woodley

This morning we formally launched the Save our Libraries campaign with a petition session and photoshoot at Woodley library. The press came and did interviews and people were queuing up to sign. They agreed with us. They can't see how a commercial company could make a profit without either closing libraries or increasing charges.

Photos will be posted up in a bit.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Save Our Libraries TinyUrl Link

If you find the petition link a little long then why not try using our new short link courtesy of TinyURL.

That's .

Spread the word and keep our libraries open.

Monday, 6 June 2011

Save Our Libraries Petition

If you too feel that privatising Wokingham's libraries is a mistake then please follow the link below and sign my petition against the privatisation of Wokingham's libraries.

Wokingham Council are planning to privatise our libraries

Wokingham Borough Council has set in motion plans to privatise Wokingham's libraries. The council believe that privatising the libraries may save as much as £170k each year, and hope to have completed the transition by next May, 2012.

In essence, this means Wokingham's libraries will be managed by a private company such as LSSI or John Laing. These companies have a reputation for running library services with the bare minimum of staff and, as you might expect from a private enterprise, of seeking to maximise their profits.

The question is: how do they make their profits and who do they charge for their services? The answer , I believe, is likely to be us. Privatisation can only lead to our libraries becoming more expensive and less available for those who need and use them the most.

A PDF copy of the report approved by the council's executive, entitled “[the] Future Of Library Service Provision”, may be downloaded from

If you wish to know more about what privatisation might mean, I suggest  reading: