We are all children's and YA authors, and we are alarmed at the way cuts are being implemented in the Haringey library service – particularly the removal of all dedicated children's librarians. Our children's librarians played an essential role in our community, especially for young readers in schools that have no library of their own. As well as choosing stock, reading widely and advising teens, younger children and their parents, these librarians coordinated author visits to local schools, ran mother and baby groups, and Chatterbooks children's reading groups. All this requires specialist knowledge, expertise and dedication. There were five children's librarians across the borough: now there are none. What Haringey has done is something akin to replacing a heart surgeon with an overstretched part-time GP. Re-stocking has slackened, opening hours are to be cut...what will follow?

We recognize that the government has imposed huge spending cuts, and appreciate that thus far, Haringey's record for keeping libraries open is better than many boroughs. But it is the librarians themselves that form the heart of the library service. In the digital age, their service is not less vital, but arguably much more so – and this is especially true where children's librarians are concerned. In November 2016 some of us met with Judith Walker, Head of Libraries and Customer Service. Ms Walker, together with Andy Briggs, listened to our concerns: alas, it appears that they have no plans to act on them. We believe there are many local residents who feel as we do – that some form of specialist children's librarian service, however limited, is indispensable. We urge the council to reconsider, and call on other residents to support this cause by writing to our MPs, David Lammy and Catherine West.

UPDATE: On September 7th, Haringey Council issued this statement in response to our campaign.

Hari’s friends refute this statement completely.

Click here to read our counter-statement.