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Citizenship

You have been hired as public relations consultants to improve the image of libraries. Working in pairs or threes create a poster or a presentation using ICT which explains why you think your library is important for your community and how you think it could advertise itself better. Invite a representative from the local library service to the school to explain their view of the purpose of libraries. Plan some questions for your visitor beforehand. Present your own ideas to your visitor.

"A public library system is profoundly important for a democratic society".

Do you agree ? Read two contrasting opinions about the future of libraries.

One view is that : "Public libraries spend less than 10 per cent of their budget on books and... that they will all have closed in 15 years". Visit www.telegraph.co.uknewsmain.jhtml?xml=news20050604nlibrary04.xmlsShe et=news20050604ixhome.html

An alternative view is that: "A free and up-to-date public library service must be at the heart of Government cultural and social policy in the 21st-century". Visit www.culture.gov.ukglobalpress_noticesarchive_2005dcms096_05.htm

Now try a spectrum exercise - move to one side of the class if you are strongly in favour of the importance of libraries; move to the other side of the class if you think that people should pay for library services and that they should not be subsidised by taxpayers (you can choose to stand anywhere between these two positions). Justify where you have chosen.

Finally, write a paragraph for or against the opening statement (but you must also try to counter the opinions of classmates who disagree with you).

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