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People in the arts industry spoke up this week to budget cuts.

On Friday night at the annual Australian book industry awards in Sydney, prime minister Tony Abbott was handed an open letter, signed by dozens of prominent artists and writers and previously published on Guardian Australia, objecting to cuts to arts funding in the 2014 federal Budget (Bethanie Blanchard).

Adam Ouston wrote this week that ‘the simple act of going into a bookshop and buying an Australian novel is now radical. The slightly more demanding act of reading that novel is political. This is a good in itself. This makesthe work good. It stimulates the economy, not to mention your intellect and capacity for empathy. It also provides writers, editors and publishers with the means to continue doing what they do. Most importantly, it stimulates a conversation, creates a context in which other Australian novels can live. That is, it creates a culture.

Reading, therefore, is creative. Reading is rioting. It is active, not passive. Consuming Australian culture is the best response to a deplorable budget. Once a month, buy an Australian novel from a bookshop. They are not expensive. This will go some way to unpicking our culture’s pockets. Does it have to be the greatest novel you’ve read in your life? No. Does it have to contribute to the conversation? Yes. If enough people read a book does it become good? Yes.

ALIA expressed support for the creative economy in the newly released Future of the LIS profession: Public libraries (theme 04, page 10)

In the future, through initiatives such as the ‘buy it now’ button on library management systems, and the promotion of local work, Australian libraries will provide greater support for the wider book industry, including Australian authors, publishers and booksellers.

A great time to invest in readers advisory training for staff!

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This entry was posted on May 26, 2014 by in australian, reading, Uncategorized and tagged .
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