Outside the Library of Birmingham for two hours today. My ears are still numb with cold! But at least I’ve done something, however small. It’s fascinating talking to the library users. Visitors from outside the city – I spoke to a lady from Iran who said she had travelled the world and visited almost every town in the UK – as well as local residents. I’d estimate that at least half the library users are young people – especially college students.
I spoke to a young man who said he wants to get his qualifications and go to university, and he needs the library and its facilities as a place to study. He needs it to be open during the evenings and weekends. He said: ‘Why won’t the politicians listen to us?’ I said: ‘If we don’t say anything, they will have nothing to listen to. Maybe I’m not doing any good, by standing here giving out leaflets. But at least I haven’t remained silent. Write your views down, and we will send it in to the Council.’
Then, it was as if he realised that his views mattered, even if only in a small way. And he went and filled in a petition slip and gave it in.