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Small steps lead to big changes...

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world: indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has” Margaret Mead

Sometimes, it's hard to see how you can really make a difference but recently, I have been feeling more optimistic. I had written to my MP about the Great School Libraries campaign and had had a lukewarm response. I haven’t given up (I will be inviting her to every possible parliamentary event to do with school libraries!)  but I had started to think, what else can I do? I’ve been reading Alistair Campbell's book But What Can I Do?  In it he talks about persevilience, Yes it's a made-up word but as an amalgam of perseverance and resilience, Alastair states that “both are key to making meaningful change.” So, it was time to be persevilient, and try again but maybe from a different angle.

It crossed my mind that perhaps in a few months time, I might have a different MP representing me and that maybe that person might have a little more time to consider the campaign than my current, tired parliamentary representative. Perhaps, if I could get him on board at this stage, he might remember the campaign if he was successful in the future. I had been following said new candidate on Twitter for a while and decided, why not - drop him a message, share some details of the campaign see if he replies. It helped that he was a teacher in a former life, someone with an interest in education. 

Top tip - find out what makes your MP tick. What are their interests? How can you frame things in a way that appeals to them and the causes closest to their heart?

 I was lucky; my message connected and we arranged to meet to talk about the campaign more. I went armed with the report, a copy of the specific questions we were asking (see the template letter) and some information about the MPs Drop In session we held in July 2023. It was a really positive meeting. I was able to share my passion for school libraries, get to know what had led him into politics and lots more. Whilst he is limited as far as current political power, he is well-connected in his party and has promised to share his new knowledge within his networks. He even offered to visit any school libraries in the constituency and to share my details with the MP local to my school. Who knows where it could lead but today, I felt I had been able to do a small something towards ensuring that every child gets the great school library they deserve. 

If you are looking for ways to support the campaign, why not start by writing to your MP or local candidates and join our small group of thoughtful, committed citizens just trying to change the world.

Rachel Huskisson

Campaign Committee member

CILIP 125 Chartered School Librarian


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Well done Rachel! Thanks for sharing your story which I hope does make others feel they can do the same thing too. Will certainly be checking out my York MP when I get there later in the year. We must celebrate small beginnings as Darryl and Jenny Toerien often say. We never know when something might hit the spot or change the direction travelled so we must keep going. Lots of small wins can eventually make a big win so we must keep going.

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