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21 February 2018

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Audio: 'We have to fight fiercely for libraries' says Chris Packham PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 20 February 2015 12:21

chris packham copyright guy phillips bitternepark  info 300pxTV presenter, naturalist and photographer Chris Packhamgave a talk and showed his impressive wildlife photographs from around the world at Cobbett Road Library on Thursday (Feb 19), and urged library supporters to "make their voices heard" about library closures. Read more for report and audio.

chris packham with library group by Steve Hickman
Pic:© Steve Hickman

Speaking about the possible closure of Southampton libraries, Packham told a packed meeting room: "Caring is not enough. You've got to do something. And to do something in this instance is to turn up to that meeting [on Monday at the Ascension Centre] and make your voices heard." 

Peppering his presentation with childhood reminiscences of times spent at Cobbett Road and Portswood libraries, as well as the City Art Gallery, and memories of specific library books he'd read to further his knowledge, Chris Packham introduced his talk speaking specifically about the importance of preserving libraries.

Libraries need greater support

He said that while he thought volunteers have a role to play in the library system, ultimately libraries need greater support both financially and otherwise. 

Chris Packham said: "I think it should have that support. In these times of cuts and necessary taxation on various things that we would like, I think we have to fight fiercely for things like libraries and arts and so on.

“It's too easy to take a swipe at these sorts of things, allegedly at the expense of things that are 'more important' in the short term. But my father and myself.... are long-term proof that the investment in this library... has paid off. We're all still here, using it, tonight. So we need to fight to maintain them."

Speaking about Southampton City Art Gallery, he said: "

“Just as I visited those libraries in my youth, I visited that art gallery. And the paintings there had a profound effect upon me... the idea that they would dispose of those for some short-term gain is utterly despicable."

'Shout above the noise'

Concluding his introduction on libraries, Packham urged library supporters to voice their concerns:

“Just because you ticked the box – or maybe you didn't tick the box – to elect these people doesn't mean that we elect all of their ideas: we still have our own, and we as stakeholders have a right to a voice. Voice it! And in the words of my favourite punk rock song, 'Shout above the noise'”.

19:56 20/2/15 Sorry there seems to be an issue with the audio, which was working previously. We're working to fix it. Please try again later. Thanks.

21:00 Hopefully now working although different url

Use the player below to hear Chris Packham's introduction, or click here . Duration: 6:53


 cobbett ascension meeting flyer

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