The UK’s education secretary, Nicky Morgan, has promised to ensure that every eight year old in the country joins their local library.
This is the letter I’ve just emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
Dear Nicky Morgan
My name is Tommy Donbavand, and I’m the author of over 80 books for children and teenagers.
I think it is a FANTASTIC idea that you have decided to ensure that every eight year old in the UK joins a library. However, as your government is – directly or indirectly – closing libraries, cutting library opening hours and removing qualified librarians from their posts, don’t you think that it may get a little crowded when we are eventually down to one, single library run by volunteers and every child has to get their books from there?
Two years ago I took part in the opening ceremonies of the new Library of Birmingham. Last week, I was asked to donate books to the same as they have no money left to purchase more. I’m not certain, but I don’t think it’s supposed to work that way.
Please don’t get me wrong – as a fan of George Orwell’s 1984, I can see the appeal to the government of restricting access to free, uncensored reading material. Having a proletariat that can learn and think for itself is distinctly ungood. It’s just a bit off to promise library access to children, then remove the libraries themselves, don’t you think? What’s next, free wafer cones on the day you ban ice cream?
I was about to close this email by suggesting that – the next time you attempt a project such as this – you align yourself with a real children’s author and not a celebrity who has spotted a quick way to add to their already bulging coffers. But, as I can’t think of a single author who would want to be associated with your government’s library policy, I have decided not to make that suggestion.
Author, scriptwriter and creative writing tutor