Hard work pays off for young library lovers

THE mother of two children who gave up their holidays and Saturdays to pound the streets of their community to save their library has told of her pride.

Kane Miller, 11, and his sister, Angel, eight, helped collect thousands of signatures to protest at the closure of Hemlington Library, in Middlesbrough.

And their hard work paid off as Middlesbough mayor, Ray Mallon, changed his mind and decided to save the library after all, as reported in The Northern Echo on Wednesday, December 19.

The library will in future be run by volunteers and already 20 have been found.

Many people in Hemlington worked hard to save the library including Margaret Baines, who handed over a 2,300-strong petition and councillor Nicky Walker and Jeanette Walker.

Ray Mallon singled out the brother and sister for special praise an extraordinary council meeting on Tuesday, December 18 in which he outlined 111 cuts to save £11m next year.

Looking directly at the pair, who had no idea if their library would be saved beforehand, Mr Mallon said: “People from Hemlington have been personable, reasonable and had social grace and these two young people who came here with their mother are the future. You two are the future and Hemlington library is well worth saving.”

Mum Ley Miller explained the idea to campaign for the library came from the children themselves who are both big readers.

They walked the streets during half term from Monday to Thursday, taking just one holiday day for themselves. They have only missed one Saturday since.

“They were out all weathers,” said Ms Miller. “There’s times they’ve been dog-tired but still said, ‘come on mam,’ and we’ve gone and done it.

"When we found out we could keep the library it was all I could do not to scream and when he praised my bairns my head swelled to such a size.

"My son rarely smiles but he’s hardly stopped beaming. Everyone in Hemlington is jumping for joy.”

Middlesbrough's library service will still suffer substantial cuts following reduced grants from the Government.

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